Book review: Melnitz

Charles Lewinsky Atlantic Books, €20.99; ebook, €12.53
Hailed by critics as Switzerland’s One Hundred Years Of Solitude, this epic family saga, from Swiss author and screenwriter, Charles Lewinksy, is finally published in English — nine years after its original release in German.

Melnitz charts the lives of five generations of the Meijers, a Swiss-Jewish family, from the Franco-Prussian conflict to the Second World War.

When cattle-dealer Solomon Meijer answers a knock at the door on a stormy night in 1871, his humdrum existence is turned upside down.

Throughout the decades, the Meijers will encounter more strangers on their doorstep, bringing consequences of love, loss and opportunity.

Lewinsky has painted a rich and textured portrait of a normal, imperfect family dealing with everyday challenges.

Within this, he examines anti-Semitism and the inherent guilt of feeling powerless while tragedy unfolds all around — something that is certain to resonate in our turbulent times.


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