Max’s Diamonds by Jay Greenfield
Published May 1, 2016 by Chickadee Prince Books
Genres Historical Fiction, WWII
A stunning decades-spanning debut novel, about a man forced to confront his moral culpability, the legacy of impossible loss, and the claims of his Jewish identity.
Paul Hartman, coming of age in postwar Rockaway, grows up haunted by the specter of his cousin Max, an Auschwitz survivor, and his mysterious cache of diamonds, which fund Paul’s Harvard Law education and even sparkle in his fiancée’s engagement ring. When a stranger from his past confronts him with an impossible demand, one that could destroy his law career, his marriage and his sense of self, Paul must make choices that will change his fate forever.
I really enjoyed this book; the characters were well developed, the story moved along at a steady pace and I really enjoy historical fiction, especially from the WWII era. The story tells the story of the life of the main character, Paul, throughout his life, beginning in post-WWII New York and into the time period when he becomes a husband and a father. Paul finds it difficult to distance himself from what his family suffered at the hands of the Nazi’s, even though he was not directly effected by it, he seems haunted by what happened to his family. This was an interesting book, following the main character throughout his life and reading about how the things that happened not only to his family, but to him, effect him the rest of his life. However, I kind of found myself never really fully invested in the book or the characters and I can’t really pinpoint why that is.
Thank you to the publisher for sending me a review copy of this book.