The youngest, least-favored member of an Eastern European Jewish family, Tzili is considered an embarrassment by her parents and older siblings. Her schooling has been a failure, she is simple and meek, and she seems more at home with the animals in the field than with people. And so when her panic-stricken family flees the encroaching Nazi armies, Tzili is left behind to fend for herself. At first seeking refuge with the local peasants, she is eventually forced to escape from them as well, and she takes to the forest, living a solitary existence until she is discovered by another Jewish refugee, a man who is as alone in the world as she is. As she matures into womanhood, they fall in love. And though their time together is tragically brief, their love for each other imbues Tzili with the strength to survive the war and begin a new life, together with other survivors, in Palestine. Aharon Appelfeld imbues Tzili’s story with a harrowing beauty that is emblematic of the fate of an entire people.
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In this moving and tender tale of a young girl living in the shadow of the Holocaust, Aharon Appelfeld weaves an individual's unique story. Tzili was the youngest, least favored member of a large Jewish family. Her schooling was a failure; all she retained from her religious instruction was one prayer. Simple and meek, she was more at home with the animals in the fields than with her own kin. So when her family fled Hitler's encroaching armies, it was Tzili who stayed behind, and it was Tzili who lived alone in the forest, sought refuge with the peasants, found love, and survived. Aharon Appelfeld imbues her story with a harrowing beauty that is emblematic of an entire people's fate.About the Author:
Aharon Appelfeld is the award-winning author of more than forty internationally acclaimed works of fiction and nonfiction, including Badenheim 1939, The Iron Tracks, Blooms of Darkness, and Until the Dawn’s Light.
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