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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
And Darkness Was Under His Feet: Stories of a Family is a family saga written by Annie Dawid. The story begins in 1900, in Radautz, Bukovina. Lazar and Reizl are devout Jews who've suffered the loss some years before of three of their children to the diphtheria epidemic, leaving two nearly adult sons still alive and a third child who was born to the middle-aged Reizl after that tragic event. Lazar is not at all happy with his two sons, Abraham and Isaac. They're not respectful of their father's devotion to his faith and disinterest in money. Several years later, the two set off to Vienna, leaving their mother and young brother at home with Lazar. The rift between father and sons was never healed, though the families of each of these brothers would survive and prosper, despite the first World War, the Holocaust and the Communist regimes in Eastern Europe.
Annie Dawid's historical family saga, And Darkness Was Under His Feet: Stories of a Family, is a magnificent epic tale. I was so impressed by the scope of this book. Dawid takes her family and the reader through the last century and into this one, in a elegant and compelling story that never falters or loses intensity. In Hans' story, she describes the exodus of German Jews to China and the efforts of assimilation into that culture. I think, though, one of my favorite characters in this book that's brimming with Solomon family members is the simple and homely Anna, the daughter of David, the third child of Lazar and Reizl, whose favorite relative is Aunty Hildy, who fell in love with her Uncle Isaac and is warm, extravagant and full of fun. Dawid's tale continues into the 21st century with a birthday celebration that brings the family, now quite extended, to Paris, and it's a resounding conclusion to a remarkable tale. And Darkness Was Under His Feet: Stories of a Family is most highly recommended.