Internationally bestselling novelist Jennifer Cody Epstein visits Temple Beth Israel as part of their "Souper Study" programming! She'll be discussing her new novel, Wunderland. Sign up for this event on the Temple website.
About the Novel:
An intimate portrait of a friendship, severed by history and wartime. Manhattan, 1989. Things had never been easy between Ava and her estranged mother Ilse. Too many questions hovered between them: Who was Ava’s father? Where had Ilse been during the war? Why had she left her only child in a German orphanage during the war? But now Ilse’s ashes have arrived from Germany, and with them a trove of unsent letters addressed to someone else unknown to Ava: Renate, a childhood friend. As her mother’s letters unfurl a dark past, Ava spirals into the shocking history of a woman she never truly knew.
Through the friendship of two teenaged girls in 1930s Germany, Wunderland depicts, in intimate and chilling detail, how fascism, racism, and xenophobia are made normal and acceptable; how ordinary people, beguiled by the siren call of nationalism, are led willingly into acts of inhumanity--and could be again, if we ignore the lessons of the past. But this novel is more than a history lesson; it's a heart-in-your-mouth page-turner that leaves you thinking about its characters, and imagining how things might have gone for them in a different world, long afterwards." --Hillary Jordan, author of Mudbound
About the Author:
Jennifer Cody Epstein, daughter-in-law of Temple member Stephen Epstein, is the author of the international bestseller The Painter from Shanghai and The Gods of Heavenly Punishment and winner of the 2013 Asian Pacific Association of Librarians Honor award for outstanding fiction. She has written for The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Self, Mademoiselle, and many others. She has an MFA in fiction from Columbia University and an MA in international affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters.
USA TODAY BESTSELLER • “Searing . . . a heartbreaking page-turner.”—People