AN EYE FOR AN EYE
An Eye For An Eye is an evocative and powerful story that touches everyone both young and old. Using the modern history of European Jewry as a backdrop Abram weaves through the tragedy of a persecuted people with characters that are so real you feel you know them. And while ultimately the tale of European Jewry ends in untold tragedy, Abram still makes us laugh and cry feeling both triumph and failure and sorrow. An Eye For An Eye is a must read for anyone grappling to try and understand a most tragic time in world history.
Bernie M. Farber, Executive Director,
Canadian Jewish Congress, Ontario Region
I had the chance to read your manuscript, An Eye For An Eye, and found it to be both interesting and fascinating to the extent that I had difficulty putting it down. In short, it was spellbinding. Your language is crisp and easy to understand. Your use of short and easy to read sentences makes the novel flow every well. In addition, your skillful use of suspense and your ability to create mood, feeling and atmosphere help you paint the world as it was and literally makes the reader a part of the environment and the story, almost like a bystander watching life go by. Your characters are strongly etched and there is no doubt where they stand. More importantly, because you depict human relations so realistically, your principal characters are believable individuals with flash, feelings and thoughts that the reader can easily identify with or utterly dislike. In short, you are a good storyteller who does not indulge in philosophical abstractions but rather focuses on easy to understand situational Descriptions filled with real human beings who display their strengths and human foibles. Finally, you write what you mean – there is no doubt about the meaning of your story and the development of its characters. This is a very readable book.
Leslie L. Dan,
C.M., B.Sc. Phm., M.B.A., LL.D., (B.C.), D.Sc. (N.S.), O.Ont.
A harrowing and heart rendering end to a magnificent tragic tale. My warmest congratulations. What a powerful evocation of the horrors! I admire the way earlier characters are brought back in. It helps to give your book an epic scope. I feel sure your book will be published. If you wish to quote any of my letters to prospective publishers please do: I am happy to support such a monumental work in any way I can.
D. M. Thomas
Author: The White Hotel (Cheltenham
Prize and the Pen Silver Award)
In this powerful book, Alvin Abram paints a vivid and poignant picture of Jewish life in Europe before World War II and then brings us face to face with the monstrous events of the war itself. With bold characters that leap off the page, Alvin Abram accomplishes a great deal. He takes history out of the text book and hands it, with compassion and fervour, to the men and women who people his novel. They bring the events to life for us and show us both sides – the hatred and the love. A great achievment.
Myrna Riback, editor and writing coach
I found all of the characters to be both believable as well as interesting. Some, like Rachel and Zaida David, I held a special feeling for and I was deeply touched by their suffering. As a gentile in a very special relationship with a Jew, I have a good understanding of the affinity that existed between Rachel and Janusz and was very moved by Janusz in his attempt to halt the madness of his Nazi captors. It was the same sort of desperate gesture that I would like to think that I might make in the same tragic situation. To me it was one that symbolizes not only Janusz’s great love for Rachel, but also perhaps his despair at man’s inhumanity to his fellow human beings.
Your research into the period, the characters and the setting were faultless and I learned many things that I was not aware of about the history of this tragic period. Yakov and Josef were extremely interesting characters and kept me coming back for more throughout the story. As with all the protagonists in the book, I found that each one represented an essential link in the substance of the narrative and in drawing the reader to search for them again and again as the story progressed.
In my opinion, every person should read this book no matter what their faith. It is far easier to forget these terrible times. Although the book acts as a tragic reminder to us all of the sheer madness of this period in human history, it is also a story that, by your careful use of characters and the situations that they find themselves in, makes it one that is very easy to read. You have done an absolutely amazing job with the book.
John Stoneman, B.Sc., M.Sc., Morstone Natural History Films
Against the backdrop of the Holocaust, the most tragic of human events, Alvin Abram’s story An Eye For An Eye casts a group of extraordinary characters involved in a strong love affair, a great intrigue and human understanding. This book is well written. The character development captivates its readers. A book you can’t put down.
I was eager to read Mr. Abram’s next book The Minyan. It was just as rewarding as the first book. It was a story that captured me. I would put Alvin Abram in the same category as Robert Ludlum. It is with anticipation I look forward to his next book.
Myrna Macy-Beck, Canada
A realistic portrayal of the events of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. This novel was both inspiring and disturbing, not to mention that it captures an engrossing account of courage under the most hideous of conditions. Should be required reading for everybody, especially the Holocaust Deniers.
Joe Leibovici, Canada
The main thing to remember is that Abram’s books have created a following because of his skills as an effective storyteller, which is quite evident in his latest book An Eye For An Eye. The story takes place in Poland between 1921 and 1946 and involves the Ackerman family, in particular Joseph Ackerman, the son of a Lodz tailor. He is a rebellious, idealistic member of the local Communist Party. When his pregnant wife Miriam is found severely beaten (and later dies of her injuries after giving birth to their son, Aaron), it’s the start of a long pursuit by Joseph for his wife’s killer, not to mention the string of tragedy, heartbreak and revenge that will befall the Ackermans. Add to that an illicit affair that Joseph’s sister Rachel has with Janusz Zwonarz, a Polish Army officer who is Catholic, and results in the birth of a child out of wedlock.
This entire saga is told within the context of pre-World War II Poland, as well as the Nazis’ blitzkrieg invasion of Poland that starts the war, the ferocity of the Holocaust against Poland’s three million Jews, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and the subsequent liberation of the concentration camps.
Although An Eye For An Eye is billed as something of a mystery, its greatest strength lies in the historical narrative that envelopes the story; in fact, it’s more of a tragic tale. Abram’s strong abilities as a storyteller, combined with his penchant for historical detail, makes this book quite gripping to read. His vivid, graphic descriptions of the stark, violent anti-Semitism of the Poles; the wholesale slaughter of the Polish Army by the Nazi Luftwaffe and Panzer divisions in the early days of the war; the brutal, draconian methods of torture employed by the Gestapo to extract information from civilians; the valiant battles during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and how Nazi policies reduced respectable Jewish citizens of Poland to its barest minimum of human existence really stands out, and transforms the book from a mystery to a topnotch historical novel.
An Eye For An Eye is a well-told history lesson wrapped in a novel. It is to Abram’s credit that he has successfully defied the conventions of the book publishing industry to create a devoted readership with his string of self-published books that are a treat for those who like to read a well-crafted, historically-accurate story.
Stuart Nulman, Tribune
An Eye For An Eye, the first of a trilogy to be officially released at Toronto’s word on the Street festival in September, is a mystery that takes place in 1921 Poland and isn’t solved until the end of the war. Like Abram’s other writings, this story of love, flirts with the concept of miracles, teaches of the past, and ends happily.
Jonathan Spicer, Town Crier