Sent to stay with her aunt in Prague and witness the humble life of an artist, Ilana Lopez—a biracial Jewish girl—finds herself torn between her dream of becoming a violinist and her immigrant parents’ desire for her to pursue a more stable career.
When she discovers a forgotten Jewish cemetery behind her aunt’s cottage, she meets the ghost of a kindhearted boy named Benjamin, who died over a century ago. As Ilana restores Benjamin’s grave, he introduces her to the enchanted side of Prague, where ghosts walk the streets and their kisses have warmth
But Benjamin isn’t the only one interested in Ilana. Rudolph Wassermann, a man with no shadow, has become fascinated with her and the music she plays. He offers to share his magic, so Ilana can be with Benjamin and pursue her passion for violin. But after Ilana discovers the truth about Wassermann and how Benjamin became bound to the city, she resolves to save the boy she loves, even if it means losing him—forever.
With spellbinding verse prose, R.M. Romero channels the spirit of myth into a brilliantly original tale, inspired by her experiences restoring Jewish cemeteries in Eastern Europe.
Haunting, entrancing, and so poetic.
Absolutely beautiful story of a biracial Jewish girl who is sent away to stay with her aunt in Prague. I was soon hooked after reading the first chapter and read this book late at night finding it difficult to put down.
Ilana is torn between pursuing her parent’s wishes of having a stable career, for example in the sciences or medicine, and becoming a violinist. While she’s in Prague, she learns about a forgotten Jewish ancestry, encounters a ghost name Benjamin and also a man with no shadow, Rudolf Wassermann and is compelled to know their stories.
The book stresses the importance of remembering our history. Quick and impactful read – I recommend this to anyone who enjoys poetic storytelling and is intrigued by the synopsis. Beautiful.
- Fairy tales
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for providing a review copy. All opinions are my own.