Far to Go Hardcover – 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
As the war approaches, the Bauer's life begins to change. Pavel can no longer run his factory and Pepik is forced to face the back wall of his classroom, segregated and bullied. The anti semitism is corrosive and seeps into all aspects of the life in the small town the Bauer's live in. Anneliese wants to leave, although Pavel is keen that they stay. You can feel Pavel's disbelief about what is happening, his unwillingness to accept the way his life is changing, his sudden awareness of his Jewishness. His factory, his feeling of confidence in himself, is slowly stripped away, which is hard to read about. Eventually, the decision is made for Pepik to leave on the Kindertransport, with the hope that he will be safe until they can hopefully be reunited.
This was a very moving book. The author takes pains to show what people are capable of in such situations, which bring out the worst and the best of humanity. Ernst, who works with Pavel, and who sees an opportunity for himself. Marta, who both loves the Bauer's and yet feels jealous and abandoned. Pepik, the small and innocent child, so loved and adored. It must have been the hardest decision to send your child alone into a new world, when the unselfish urge to protect your child is stronger than the desperate need to be with them. This was an excellent novel and really thought provoking. It would be a great read for a book group, with lots to discuss and talk about and I am glad that I read it.
I was very lucky to be able to read 'Far to Go' before its release on the 12th May 2011 and I recommend it highly.
The story is told from the point of view of Marta, Pepik's beloved governess, who stands by the Bauer family for different reasons but ultimately she stays because she loves the family. Marta's point of view is full of emotion, there is sadness, happiness, strength and love, emotions that are shown so well that you are immersed in the story from the first page. Marta is a well written and realistic character, she is a young girl, who at times is confused and makes wrong decisions.
Pavel and Anneliese are also well written characters, their fear as people and parents are heartbreaking to read, their frustrations and sadness, what they are facing, what they sacrifice to ensure their son's safety.Read more ›
The novel tells the story of the Bauer family - Pavel, Anneliese and their small son Pepik, and Marta, his nanny. The Bauers are Czechs, and the Germans are invading their country. They are also Jews, and the persecution of Jews is getting under way. Because they are not practising Jews, Pavel feels that they are safe; his wife is not so sure. Marta, who is non-Jewish, is torn between the family she loves and, at the beginning of the novel, her Nazi lover, Ernst. As the net gradually closes around them, the painful decision is made to send Pepik to England and safety.
The narrative, told largely from the pont of view of Marta, is punctuated by a present-day first person narrative, and it is not for some time that the identity of this narrator is made clear. One of the problems I had with the novel was this narrative; I felt that it was unnecessary - it provided a framework for the story, but was not essential to it - and it interrupted the main narrative. I also found it irritating not knowing who was speaking.
As to the main story itself, it is well researched and told, but I somehow never really felt drawn in; never feared for the protagonsists or felt their pain as I have in other novels about the Second World War, and I was disappointed.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have read numerous holocaust related novels over the years and made a conscious decision not to chose to read any further such material. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Gloria
Thoughtful and griping. A book which gives a real understanding of how Jewish children were sent to England nefore ww2.Published 12 months ago by Debbie Lamont
this is one of the best short novels I have ever read, had it on holiday last year, didn't put it downPublished on 21 May 2014 by vi madden
A interesting tale nothing new added that I didn't already know or had read before
and a few twists that were so obvious the book might as well been written in neon
'Far to go' has received quite a number of very good reviews which is why I bought it. My reading experience wasn't as positive as that. Read morePublished on 11 July 2013 by H. Lacroix
A moving story about a Jewish Czeck family during the war.
Narrated by the family's nanny Marta , it tells the tale of the pre war German occupation of Czechoslovakia , the... Read more