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Book reviews, Puppet by Eva Wiseman

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Subject-Keyword: Book reviews Puppet by Eva Wiseman

Type of item: Review

Language: English




Date created: 2012

DOI: doi:10.7939-R30S2J

License information: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported


Autor: Smith, J.



Wiseman, Eva.
Toronto: Tundra Books.
Print. Worthy of its numerous awards, Puppet delivers an intriguing narrative of a notorious “blood libel” case in Hungary.
Negotiating cultural divides and morality, the protagonist explores her own beliefs to make sense of the horror she personally observes in her community.
Loosely based on historical events, Wiseman explores a tragic incident of anti-Semitism and the crippling effects of blind hatred. Set in Hungary during the late 19th century, the story is told from the perspective of Julie, a teenager whose mother is dying of cancer and whose alcoholic father is prone to violence.
Julie’s love of her mother and sister sustains her throughout the adverse conditions she faces.
Although aware of a latent tension based on religious differences in her quaint village, Julie is accustomed to anti-Semitic sentiments but does not comprehend the potential seriousness of the issue.
Julie seems indifferent and confused by the comments she hears; her family has been helped by the Jewish doctor in town and she believes them to be good people regardless of their religion. When Julie’s friend, Esther, disappears one morning, the community seeks suspects and sets their sights on the synagogue.
Driven by malicious detectives, members of the community conspire to accuse five Jewish men of using the girl’s blood for a Passover ceremony.
Morris Scarf, a Jewish boy, is coerced into accusing his father and four other men of “blood libel;” although the accusation will save him from abuse at the hands of his captors, it separates him from his family and religious community.
Julie witnesses, first-hand, the manipulation and abuse used to coerce testimony from Morris and his brother.
She does what she can to stop the gossip and coercion, however as her community falls apart around her, Julie struggles to deal with her own tragedies.
Losing her mother, separated from her sister, and removed from her home by her abusive fat...

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