Fugitive Pieces

content.chilifresh.com.jpgFugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels: Fugitive Pieces is a beautiful, poetic novel from Canadian poet-turned-novelist Michaels. The first half of the novel follows the story of Jakob Beer. After his parents and sister are slaughtered, young Jakob hides in the bog until he is rescued by Athos, a middle-aged Greek archeologist. Athos smuggles Jakob to Greece and hides the boy in his home. Although food is hard to come by and the tragedies of war at times threaten their stability, Athos teaches Jakob about languages, science, and love. The elder man patiently helps the severely traumatized youngster reemerge into human interaction. The story continues to follow their post-war stories in Canada. The second half of the novel follows the story of Ben, the child of Holocaust survivors. It explores the physiological damage that is often passed from one generation of victims to another. Although it had moving sections, it is the story of Jakob that melts one’s heart and offers hope for the future. Both of the two characters are traumatized from their experiences—trauma that spills into personal and even sexual relationships. The novel is a beautiful look into hope and redemption through knowledge, perseverance, and love.

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