disclosure: we were sent the item mentioned for the purpose of review
House on Endless Waters is written by Emuna Elon and was published through Allen and Unwin in March this year. It’s a beautifully written novel about a man going on a voyage of discovery, back to his childhood in war-torn Amsterdam.
We meet Yoel Blum at the start of House on Endless Waters, the successful author is visiting the Netherlands to promote his newly published novel. Although born in Amsterdam, he grew up with his mother and sister Nettie in Israel and has never before visited the city.
Whilst visiting the Jewish Historical Museum, Yoel watches a film clip and for a split second, he sees his mother on the screen, holding a baby. The baby isn’t him and can’t be his sister either. Who is this child? The revelation sets Yoel on a voyage of discovery.
He decides to return to Amsterdam to uncover the story of this child and of his own childhood. It would appear that all was not as he’d believed it to be all his life.
House on Endless Waters is such a wonderful book, heartbreaking and riveting. We follow Yoel as he brings the story of his parents back to life and discovers the reality of existing in Amsterdam during WWII for the Jewish community. He learns about the sacrifices that were made and how some children were hidden by an underground network of unknown helpers.
He sees how those Jews with money and influence could decide the fate of others, how friends could turn on each other and even deceive them. How the normal rules of decency and friendship were wiped away as the need for survival reigned. His mother was forced to make heartbreaking decisions, which explained the person she became and the mother he remembered.
It’s a book that sees the central character’s life turn upside down, but also sets him free as he learns the truth about himself, those he cares about the most and sees him finally learn to let people in.
I can thoroughly recommend House on Endless Waters and have included my Amazon affiliate link below (I do earn from qualifying purchases).