Adam & Thomas by Aharon Appelfeld is newly translated into English by Jeffrey M. Green. And, if you're like me, and seek to read as many World War II books as possible in any given year, it's worth seeking out.
The book opens with Adam and his mother in the forest. She's leaving him, leaving him with a promise that she'll return when it's safe, but ultimately leaving him on his own. He doesn't stay on his own, however, for later that same day he finds another boy his own age whose mother had also brought him to the forest. His name is Thomas. The two boys are quite different from one another. But they're both Jewish, both seeking to escape the ghetto before it is liquidated, both unsure of the future. Though Adam is a positive thinker if ever there was one.
Can the two boys survive the horrors of both war and nature in the forest? Will they find enough food to eat in the forest? What about in winter? How will they stay warm? Dare they try to light a fire?
"Enjoyed" is such a wrong word given the context and content of this one. But I found it a quick, overall hopeful read. I liked Thomas and his dreams. I liked Adam and his resourcefulness and hope. I liked how these two made a point of helping others who fled into the forest to try to escape the Nazis.
I also liked Miro and Mina. Mina is another Jewish girl hiding out in the country. Miro is Adam's oh-so-loyal dog that tracks him down after several weeks or months and joins the boys in the forest.
© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews