By Aharon Appelfeld, Jeffrey M. Green
**WINNER OF THE 2012 INDEPENDENT international FICTION PRIZE**
A new novel from the award-winning, the world over acclaimed Israeli author (“One of the best writers of the age”—The Guardian), a haunting, heartbreaking tale of affection and loss.
The ghetto during which the Jews were limited is being liquidated through the Nazis, and eleven-year-old Hugo is introduced via his mom to the neighborhood brothel, the place one of many prostitutes has agreed to conceal him. Mariana is a bitterly unsatisfied lady who hates what she has performed to her existence, and evening after evening Hugo sits in her closet and listens uncomprehendingly as she rages on the Nazi squaddies who come and pass. whilst she’s now not mired in self-loathing, Mariana is fiercely protecting of the bewildered, painfully well mannered younger boy. And Hugo turns into protecting of Mariana, too, attempting to make her snigger whilst she is depressed, soothing her actual and psychological anguish with chilly compresses. because the stories of his friends and family develop dim, Hugo falls in love with Mariana. And as her lifestyles spirals downward, Mariana reaches out for comfort to the adoring boy who's at the cusp of manhood.
The arrival of the Russian military sends the prostitutes fleeing. yet Mariana is simply too renowned, and he or she is arrested as a Nazi collaborator for having slept with the Germans. because the novel strikes towards its heartrending end, Aharon Appelfeld once more crafts out of the depths of unfathomable tragedy a renewal of lifestyles and a deeper figuring out of what it ability to be human.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Extra info for Blooms of Darkness: A Novel
Autumn,” says his mother, and her voice wipes away the memory of the stifling sewer and the fears of the night. Other sights, silent and enchanting, rise from oblivion. In the autumn they used to go for a week in the Carpathians, to see the fallen leaves. The autumn lay on the earth in a myriad of hues, and they would step slowly, so as not to destroy the big leaves that floated in bright colors, detached from the trees. ” His mother’s question came promptly. ” Other marvelous things were said then, but Hugo didn’t take them in, or maybe he didn’t retain them.
Unable to think of an alternative, he takes a jump rope out of a drawer and starts skipping rope. He is better at hopping than Anna. Anna tries very hard, but her ability at that game is limited. ” Hugo asks cautiously. “Not yet. ” “It doesn’t matter,” says Hugo, bowing his head like a grown-up. Every night Hugo’s mother makes sure to read him a chapter from a book. Over the past few weeks, she has been reading him stories from the Bible. Hugo was sure that only religious people read the Bible, but, surprisingly, his mother reads it, and he sees the images very clearly.
In the closet, you mustn’t light a lamp. In the closet, you close your eyes and go to sleep. ” “Pardon me,” says Hugo. ” “You don’t need to beg pardon for little things like that. ” Mariana kneels down and Hugo approaches her. She hugs him fully against her breasts and kisses his face and lips. The smell of brandy strikes him. ” Hugo kisses her cheek. “That’s not how you kiss. ” Hugo holds her face again and kisses her. “I’ll have to teach you how to kiss,” she says, and closes the closet door.