Heirlooms is now available at Amazon.
Barnes and Noble
Heirlooms is a fascinating series of interconnected stories about members of an extended family of Jews before, during and long after the holocaust, in France, in Israel, in the United States. Different women and men define themselves in resistance, denial and ignorance of history through four generations… In some ways the entire book is a meditation on the meaning of family and history.
Heirlooms is an exquisite and thrilling collection. In fearless and incandescent prose, Rachel Hall traces the fragile resilience and quiet horrors of those displaced by war. She happens to be writing about the Second World War, but these are stories that speak to the essential human experiences of exile and loss and survival. Heirlooms captures what it is to be a refugee, and an immigrant, with a delicacy and precision that delights and haunts.
Heirlooms is a masterful collection, infused with devastating beauty. Focusing her precise artistry on the chaos of war, Rachel Hall succeeds in animating loss, preserving memory, and adding powerful imaginative truth to the historical record.
In Heirlooms, Rachel Hall has built an irresistible and gem lit kaleidoscope, capturing within it the intricate, ephemeral private moments of women and men fleeing wartime violence, neighbors who bear witness or turn away, and children who carry the legacies. Each turn brings another vital angle, another dimension: Hallís vision crosses borders and generations, through language at once lyrical and deeply distilled. Heirlooms is a beautiful, transporting, and necessary book.
This volume is a treasure box of interconnected short stories tracking a saga of a Jewish family’s survival, starting in Holocaust-era France. ... Hall’s writing style is minimalist perfection, each chapter a self-contained jewel. She manages to project intense sympathy without a hint of sentimentalism, and her multi-perspective sense of pathos is rare for the genre. Even Nazi officers and abusive French police are given multiple dimensions and some level of human frailty, which only makes the facts of wartime life more starkly real. As the settings progress to Israel and America, the story resonates deeply with the modern refugee experience and seems all the more fresh and timely. Definitely a welcome and beautiful voice in wartime historical fiction. Enthusiastically recommended.
--The Historical Novel Society
Read an excerpt from Heirlooms
Book group questions