Klara, Annelise, Ruth and Clare are women who are bound together by love of family and the trauma that was created when the family’s once happy life, which began in Germany, was forever changed by the onslaught of anti-Semitism.
Annelise, the central character of Send for Me, worked alongside her parents in their thriving bakery. She was a typical young woman. She dreamed of a happy life and had no reason not to expect it. Yet over time, the people she once viewed as neighbors and friends would no longer associate with her. The simple, everyday freedoms of Jews in Germany started to be taken away until almost none existed.
Once married and a new mother to Ruthie, Annelise and her husband get the chance to emigrate to America with plans for Annelise’s parents to follow as soon as it can be arranged. This highly emotional story shifts to life in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Moving to present day, Annelise’s grown granddaughter Clare is struggling with her own quest for happiness. She finds a collection of letters written to her grandmother Annelise from her great-grandmother Klara, who she is named after, and it opens her mind and heart. The letters will break your heart as Klara, missing her family terribly, awaits with great hope for her turn to come to America.
As historical fiction, this book is wonderful. Beautifully written with engaging characters whose emotions of love, yearning and heartbreak leap off the pages. But Send for Me is much more. While this is a work of fiction, it is lovingly based on author Lauren Fox’s family. The letters that are interspersed throughout the book are the actual letters written by her great-grandmother. The emotions of the four generations of women are authentic. And this makes for one incredible, haunting and memorable book.
Rated 4.75 out of 5 stars.
Publication Date: February 2, 2021.
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