An Ad in the Paper and Demons from the Past by Tali Nattiv-Ironi – Book Review

An Ad in the Paper and Demons from the Past



A small, beckoning newspaper ad plunges Illana’s life into turmoil

Illana, an Israeli history teacher, answers a newspaper ad calling for volunteers to document Holocaust stories. Against all reason, she responds and is drawn into the greatest trial of her life. That small ad turns her ordered existence into a rollercoaster of demons rushing toward an abyss as the project overwhelms her. But perhaps those demons had always been there, waiting in a dark hidden cellar, along with the terrible secret planted in her soul as she lay in the womb, or even before she was conceived.

The unspeakable horrors of a once-hidden past are absorbed into Illana’s reality

Illana gradually loses the ability to distinguish between her world and that of those she is documenting. Their longing for the life they lost becomes her yearning, their horrors her nightmares. Her reality becomes trivial and meaningless, as her obsession grows to absorb their stories and live their memories.

The ominous sirens of two wars intermingle for this second generation Holocaust survivor

The sirens and gas masks of the 1990s Gulf War form the background of the story, echoing the “going like sheep to slaughter” Holocaust traumas of Illana’s own family. This romance thriller is a truly revealing portrayal of the angst of second generation Holocaust survivors.

Book Review:

After reading the book, when I started writing the review, I totally got confused where to start. So I thought the best thing to start with would be the blurb. The blurb itself is so intriguing and unique that I got goose bumps while reading it. The blurb promised a good read and I must say I was not disappointed.

An Ad in the Paper and Demons from the Past by Tali Nattiv-Ironi has holocaust as the main theme and this is the first book I have read on this topic. It has always been intriguing to read books based on WW II and this one is so powerful that stays with you and haunts you for long. This book is definitely not a feel good book and shakes you to the core with its fluid language and narration.

The plot and the setting of the book are incredible. This book also narrates the aftermath that every tragedy brings. The plot is definitely highly captivating and unique.

The characterisation has also been done perfectly. The characters are developed well and have been able to touch the readers.

The language is simple and narration is fluid.

Talking abut the cover, it is okay but could have been better. The current cover image does not attract the readers and lacks in the appeal. It is the blurb that interests the readers to read the book.

Overall, An Ad in the Paper and Demons from the Past by Tali Nattiv-Ironi is a heart wrenching tale with the holocaust as the backdrop. A must read for all.

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