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A Review of the novel, The Grayling Hidden Truth Poems and a Special Blog for the Holiday by Cheryl Freier


Posted by cheryl - April 22nd, 2016

TITLE INFORMATION
THE GRAYLING
Hidden Truths: Poems By Martin Freier
Freier, Cheryl
AuthorHouse (156 pp.)
$23.99 hardcover, $14.95 paperback, $3.99 e-book
ISBN: 978-1468524062; January 9, 2012
BOOK REVIEW
In a novel about faith and fortitude, a Jewish family escapes to the woods and struggles to survive there after Nazis
invade their Czechoslovakian town.
In the 1940s, war seems far away to the Freiers. Joseph, the patriarch, provides for his middle-class family—his wife,
three sons and a daughter—by running the lumberyard in their Czechoslovakian town. Then the Nazis begin purging the
area of Jews. The Freiers manage to escape each time the Germans round them up. The first time, they return home after
trying to buy passage to Switzerland. The next time, they slip away in the chaos before the Nazis can herd them onto the
concentration camp–bound trains. After that, Joseph’s foreman gets them special dispensation to stay in town. They also
buy forged papers and live as Christians until, at last, they escape into the woods. On their own, they struggle to survive,
with help from Joseph’s talent with a hammer, their knowledge of wildlife, and their commitment to faith and one
another. Their lives constantly at risk, the family’s saga might have made for a powerful, uplifting tale if the book had
developed the characters better. As it is, the Freiers lack individuality. Except for Sam, the eldest son, and Martin, the
narrator, the characters don’t acquire distinctive personalities. They speak in platitudes and have implausible
conversations. Their story moves about in a haphazard way as it jumps for no apparent reason from Martin’s first-person
perspective to a third-person point of view. The book also unnecessarily repeats paragraphs, which adds to the confusion,
as do what appear to be significant skips in time. However, the novel has undeniable charm that derives in part from the
strong family bond it describes. The story offers a unique glimpse of life in a Jewish ghetto and what happens, physically
and emotionally, when the persecuted must literally run for their lives.
Harrowing in its realism yet not fully developed.
Kirkus Indie, Kirkus Media LLC, 6411 Burleson Rd., Austin, TX 78744
indie@kirkusreviews.com
I am sending this message all across America:
I am the wife of a survivor of the Holocaust. My husband’s name was Martin Freier. He was a survivor from Micholovce, Slovakia. For the Passover holidays, you must listen to him singing most of the well-known Passover songs. Anyone can hear his singing on the website: www.thegraylinghiddentruthpoems.com. Martin was a Cantor with a voice that resonated with every note and with a voice with a special ring that was incomparable. Treat yourself to Martin’s singing as you eat the macaroon, and pieces of cake, and drink the Passover wine. Play his songs for the seder. Sing along with his melodious rendition of each song. Martin was liberated on Passover. Celebrate his liberation in spirit with love. Think that his liberation was your liberation. I am the wife of a survivor of the Holocaust. If you wish to read poems that he wrote, you may do so by reading the book: The Day of the Hidden Truth Poems. Thanks
Cheryl Freier

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