Book by Toronto’s Sharon Hart-Green follows the story of a Toronto teen in the 1960s and a Hungarian teen during the Second World War

Come Back For Me by Sharon Hart-Green ($20, New Jewish Press) tells two stories – teenager Suzy Kohn who lives in Toronto in the late ’60s and teenager Artur Mandelkorn who lives in Hungary in May 1944 as the Nazi Germans invade his town and start to round up family and friends.

While Suzy’s perspective is slow – two years from start to finish – and shadowed by the death of her Uncle Charles and its affect on her family, including her Aunt Bella, as well as her relationship with Fin, we speed through Artur’s life, beginning with him running from the Nazi invasion with his beloved younger sister Manya, their rescue and eventual capture and separation and Artur’s lifelong journey of trying to find his family. That journey takes us from Europe, to Israel and back through marriage and children and right up to the 1970s.

Come Back For Me was a fast read, filled with terror and sadness, love and hope.

The characters were good. I liked Suzy and although I disagreed with her choices, I understand how they were made. I didn’t, however, understand her parents and their behaviour after Charles died unless it was all the horrors of war and loss brought back to the surface. And in that case, I am glad I don’t have the experience to understand, but I can certainly empathize.

Artur was a great character to get to know. In the end, I am glad he found the happiness he needed to heal and move forward.

“even in the burned forest the bird has come back to sing.”

– Abba Kovner “What’s Not in the Heart.”

A copy of this book was provided by New Jewish Press for an honest review. The opinions are my own.