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The Afterlife of Stars

by Joseph Kertes

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This is the story of two brothers, Robert and Attila Beck, who are escaping from Communist Hungary with their family to travel to the Paris townhouse of their great-aunt Hermina. As they make their way through minefields both real and imagined, the two boys contend with sibling rivalry, family secrets, and unimaginable loss to arrive at a place they thought they’d lost forever: home.

I wanted to like it more than I did but just couldn’t engage with the characters. However, the story itself is beautifully told and is both heartbreaking and funny and all the emotions between, including horror at the cruelty of men towards their fellow men.

I recommend it, it will not leave you unmoved.