Sunday 21 March 2021

What We’re Scared of by Keren David


This story is set in the 21st century. 

Evie and Lottie are non-identical twins.  They are completely different from each other.  Evie is funny, small, “zaftig” (Yiddish word for chubby) and goes to the local comp. She has quite a following as a stand-up comic. Lottie, is tall, slim, asthmatic, and possibly has an eating disorder but this is understated in the text.  She is clever and goes to a fee-paying school. Their mother is Jewish but is not a practising Jew nor is at all religious.

They start to confront their Jewishness when their mother brings back an old school friend and her son Noah.   Sarah an d Noah have moved from Paris because Noah and his father were attacked for being Jewish, Noah stays with the twins and the family for a while.

Meanwhile, Lottie befriends another Jewish girl at her school.  Hannah introduces Lottie to more formal aspects of the Jewish way of life. 

Their mother mentions what has happened to Sarah and Noah on her radio show.  She is immediately trolled and starts to receive hate mail.

Both girls ae put in danger because they are Jewish. 

They meet a Holocaust survivor who encourages them to “Seize opportunities” and “celebrate the good times” p300.

The text is blocked and in adult font.  It is 300 pages long. The acknowledgments at the end of the book tell us a little about David’s research. There is also a short biography of the author at the end.             

Monday 8 March 2021

The Class Letter (Book 5) almost finished

I’m now on the final edit of what I’ve decided to call The Class Letter. It goes into more detail about some of the girls – Erika, one of twins who have to take over running their father’s business when he dies suddenly, Anika who trains to be an actor and gets involved in some subversive theatre, Gerda who becomes a farmer and Hanna who is their former teacher. This also expands on what happens after Hanna Braun has told the girls some of the truth about what has happened to some people who were disliked by the Nazis. This includes a nun who taught at the school, a local vicar and Elfriede Kaiser, another Jewish girl who went to the school but wasn’t as fortunate as Renate.

In the final edit I’m tidying up the appearance and creating a glossary of the German terms I’ve used.  I’ve decided not to have chapter numbers but just names of each girl whose story is in that chapter ad the heading.   I’ve not put dates as part of the chapter title.  We’ll see what the beta readers say about that. Each chapter contains quite a few time markers in any case. Many of them move through several days and in most cases time moves on a good deal between chapters.

Book 4, Face to Face with the Führer is still queued for publishing.  I’ve also tried a few other independent publishers. “Good” rejections so far.  I’m a little ambivalent about this.  It’s good to keep it in one imprint. But there is some way to go before it will come to the top of the list.  

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay