Not Me by Michael Lavigne - 320 pages
When Heshel Rosenheim, apparently suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, hands his son, Michael, a box of moldy old journals, an amazing adventure begins–one that takes the reader from the concentration camps of Poland to an improbable love story during the battle for Palestine, from a cancer ward in New Jersey to a hopeless marriage in San Francisco. The journals, which seem to tell the story of Heshel’s life, are so harrowing, so riveting, so passionate, and so perplexing that Michael becomes obsessed with discovering the truth about his father.
As Michael struggles to come to grips with his father’s elusive past, a world of complex and disturbing possibilities opens up to him–a world in which an accomplice to genocide may have turned into a virtuous Jew and a young man cannot recall murdering the person he loves most; a world in which truth is fiction and fiction is truth and one man’s terrible–or triumphant–transformation calls history itself into question. Michael must then solve the biggest riddle of all: Who am I?
My Review: 4 stars
This book has been in my TBR pile for 3-4 years and I finally picked it up as my book club chose it as a last minute choice. So glad the dice rolled that way as this was a well told interesting book that bristled with a touch of mystery while really examining secrets, family relationships, faith, love and loss. These serious topics were told from the voice of a comedian so there were welcome touches of humor peppered through the book. The identity of who a person is at heart versus who we believe they are was paramount throughout the book. A few parts of the story didn’t add up which led to a great discussion for this book.
Tags: Holocaust, Fiction, Book Club, 2011