Go Down to Silence   -     By: G K Belliveau
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Go Down to Silence

Multnomah Books / 2001 / Paperback

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Product Description

Jacob Horowitz, a worn and bitter business tycoon, had never spoken to anyone about his experience of Nazi persecution during World War II - not even his recently deceased wife, Liza. Suddenly striken with terminal cancer, the aging Jew receives an invitation from his old friend Pierre, a Gentile Christian and former Belgian underground operative, to pay him one last visit in Belgium. Jacob accepts, and determines to take along his estranged son Isaac. In this fast-paced, vivid historical account set alternately in war-torn Europe and today's United States, the consequences of war become clear. Momentous events push the hardened Horowitz toward reconciliation with his youngest son, with his past, with God, and with himself.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 350
Vendor: Multnomah Books
Publication Date: 2001
Dimensions: 6.25 X 4.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1576737365
ISBN-13: 9781576737361

Publisher's Description

In this fast-paced, vivid historical account, set alternately in war-torn Europe and today's United States, an aging Holocaust survivor attempts reconciliation with his youngest son, with his past, and with himself.

Library Journal

When businessman Jacob Horowitz is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he decides to make peace with his estranged son, Isaac, and with his past. Jacob sees novelist Isaac's use of the pen name "Jack Oxford" as a denial of his Jewish heritage and of the suffering the Horowitz family endured during World War II. However, Isaac knows nothing of the family history, since his father never shared the horrors of the past nor the reasons for hiding his faith. As the two strong-willed men revisit Jacob's old friends and memories, Jacob's story unfolds in flashbacks. The crusty old man metamorphoses into a frightened little boy fleeing Nazis again in his mind. This powerful, poignant journey of discovery by Belliveau (Say to This Mountain) is suitable for all collections. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Publisher's Weekly

In this refreshingly unpredictable Christian novel, Belliveau fictionalizes the boyhood experiences of an actual Belgian Holocaust survivor, and in doing so avoids compressing events into the tired formulas upon which Christian and historical fiction so often rely. As readers get to know Jacob Horowitz, now an elderly Cleveland businessman, through flashbacks to his harrowing wartime experiences in the Belgian underground, we never know what to expect. Each character, whether Jew, Nazi or Christian, is multidimensional, and each vignette from Jacob's young life vibrates with the strangeness of truth. For example, when Jacob is torn between the faith of his Christian protectors and the Jewish identity his mother insists he maintain, Belliveau renders each perspective sympathetically, helping readers understand why, in the face of this dilemma as well as wartime horrors, Jacob chooses, for most of his adult life, to close down spiritually and emotionally. Interestingly, this novel focuses as much on Jacob's late-in-life emotional catharsis as it does on his spiritual quest, suggesting that the two are inextricably bound. Belliveau's exploration of Jacob's emotional life departs radically from the norms of many Christian novels written by men; instead of trading on gender stereotypes that glorify male strength and stoicism, Belliveau shows how young Jacob's stoicism emerged when he found himself overwhelmed by pain and rage. Jacob's attempts to face difficult memories and relationships in the narrative present suggest redemption, but readers are left to imagine how that redemption will play out. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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