The Journey by Ida Fink

Sale price$ 21.00


With this deeply moving, masterfully controlled novel, Fink, a Jewish writer who was born in Poland in 1921, continues her exploration of survival during the Holocaust (begun in the story collection A Scrap of Time ). Two Jewish sisters armed only with poorly forged papers escape a Polish ghetto; their real names are never given, and the narrator, the older sister, instead uses the various aliases they assume. Posing as Christians, they report to a transit camp to be sent to work in Germany. Danger is never far from them, however, and they are forced into a series of escapes and changes of identity. Fink excels at locating the tiny details that carry fatal consequences: Polish factory workers, suspecting the sisters, challenge them to sing Christmas carols; a farmhand doesn't contradict the narrator's claim to be an experienced milkmaid even when he sees the raw blisters on her hands; the narrator, still posing as a peasant, must concoct a cover story after she impulsively plays Chopin's ``Polonaise'' on the piano. The author's restrained, unsurprised tones suggest how routine, how everyday the brutalities of the Nazi regime must have seemed, even to its victims. Deceptively fluid, Fink's novel is utterly chilling.

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