QUICK NOTES: The Trick by Emanuel Bergmann
QUICK NOTES: The Trick is one of those perfect book club books (not that I read it for a book club or anything, it’s just one of those great points to note). You have a weaving cast of characters, the majority of which aren’t likeable…so you’re probably wondering how I actually ended up liking this book, right? Good question! It’s incredibly well written and the characters have room, as well as decades in the flashback cast, to grow and redeem themselves in big and small ways.
Flashing back to WWII era and then jumping in and out of 2007 is an incredibly hard thing to do while maintaining a moving narrative and keeping it cohesive. I think the author crafted it beautifully. You really feel all the hard knocks that the characters are receiving and you’re just wishing and praying for something to go right. Following Moshe’s story is equal parts heartbreaking and magical (no spoilers!). And in the present day, discovering Max’s story, in all it’s childlike naiveté, is sweet and once again, heartwrenching. Once these two worlds collide, it creates an amazing book.
Definitely worth reading.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
RATING: ★★★★☆/ 4 Stars!
GENRE: Historical Fiction, Book Club
SYNOPSIS: Sweeping between Prague during World War II and modern day Los Angeles, this deeply moving debut follows a young Jewish man in 1934 who falls in love and joins the circus as the country descends into war. Decades later, a young boy seeks out the now cynical, elderly magician in the hopes that his spells might keep his family together.
Prague, 1934: The fifteen-year-old rabbi s son Moshe Goldenhirsch marvels at the legendary circus magician known as the Half-Moon Man. Unexpectedly, he falls madly in love with the magician's delightful assistant, spurring him to run away from home to join the circus, which is slowly making its way to Germany as war looms on the horizon. Soon, he becomes a world-renowned magician known as the Great Zabbatini, even sought after by Adolf Hitler. But when Moshe is discovered to be a Jew, only his special talent can save him from perishing in a concentration camp.
Los Angeles, 2007: Ten-year-old Max Cohn is convinced that magic can bring his estranged parents back together before they divorce. So one night he climbs out of his bedroom window in search of the Great Zabbatini, certain this powerful magician has the power to reunite his family.