Wednesday, October 22, 2014

In Paradise

In Paradise
By Peter Matthiessen
Riverhead Books, 2014. 246 pages. Fiction. 

Clement Olin, a member of a group on a spiritual retreat in the famous death camp, Auschwitz, is on a personal journey to discover the Jewish mother his father abandoned at the height of World War II.

When I think of the Holocaust, my mind instantly goes to the black and white photographs that were taken of the misery and suffering the Allies took of the death camp survivors. This book, however, is not as black and white as those photographs. Like the cover of the book, the feeling from this book is a deep blue as the members of the retreat become mired in the emotions of having survived a horrific tragedy. This book does not look at the Holocaust itself, but, rather, at the way people who never experienced the Holocaust relate to it. It was a deep but beautiful book that really makes you think. There is a lot of intense language in the book.


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