Wednesday, 1 November 2017

After Anatevka by Alexandra Silber | Book Review

Book: After Anatevka

Author: Alexandra Silber

Publisher: Pegasus Books

Pages: 336 Pages

Format: Hardcover

Source: Sent to me for review by Pegasus Books

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Thank you to Pegasus Books for sending me a finished copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Thanks Pegasus!

The world knows well the tale of Tevye, the beloved Jewish dairyman from the shtetl Anatevka of Tsarist Russia. In stories originally written by Sholem Aleichem and then made world-famous in the celebrated musical Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye, his wife Golde, and their five daughters dealt with the outside influences that were encroaching upon their humble lives. But what happened to those remarkable characters after the curtain fell?

In After Anatevka, Alexandra Silber picks up where “Fiddler” left off. Second-eldest daughter Hodel takes center stage as she attempts to join her Socialist-leaning fiancĂ© Perchik to the outer reaches of a Siberian work camp. But before Hodel and Perchik can finally be together, they both face extraordinary hurdles and adversaries—both personal and political—attempting to keep them apart at all costs.

A love story set against a backdrop of some of the greatest violence in European history, After Anatevaka is a stunning conclusion to a tale that has gripped audiences around the globe for decades.

"God only knows when we shall see each other again" are the last words uttered by Hodel, Tevye's second eldest before she gets on a train to Siberia, leaving her home in Anatevka to follow Perchick, her revolutionary intended. This is a moment that has always stuck with me in Fiddler, as she is the dark horse character -- we never learn what happens to her after this moment. Alexandra Silber is maybe one of the most qualified people to continue Hodel's story. She played Hodel in the West End, and then played her older sister Tzeitel on Broadway, and you can tell from the way she speaks about her she has a huge connection with her.

The story is darker than I originally thought it would be, but in the end i'm happy it was written this way. Hodel is properly tested through this, and it subverts her traditional life that is seen in Fiddler. Everything about her new life is new, and watching Hodel conjure up the strength and courage to fight her way forward is so incredible.

I have so much to say about this, but mostly, It felt like a breath of fresh air. It felt good to know that Hodel and Perchick were okay. Seeing Hodel walk away from her life to follow love was scary, terrifying even, and getting the reunion between the two of them made everything worth it. Aside from the lovebirds, the new cast of side characters were lovely additions, and the cameos by Chava and Tzeitel, and even one from (my love) Motel, rooted this story so beautifully.

If you're not a fan of Fiddler or don't know the plot, you'll be very confused by a lot of this, but if you even know a little bit about this beautiful story, you will find so many answers and so much depth between these pages. Hodel's story is spectacular and allows her to shine in a brand new way.

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