The Children’s House, by Alice Nelson

ANZ LitLovers LitBlog

The Children’s House is Alice Nelson’s third book: her first was a novel called The Last Sky (2008), which was followed by After This: Survivors of The Holocaust Speak (2015).  I haven’t read The Last Sky, but based on its blurb and my reading of After This, (see my review) it seems to me that Nelson is drawn to the melancholy.  She writes about exile, displacement, abandonment, loss and survival.

Just as After This chronicled the hope and healing of Holocaust survivors, The Children’s House concludes on an optimistic note.  But what lies at the heart of the novel is the contrast between the helping professions and the power of love.  The story is peopled by damaged characters: two children raised in the impersonal world of an Israeli kibbutz and then by a mother too remote to offer love; a boy scarred by his mother’s abandonment when new love took her to the other side…

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