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With the cloud of the Holocaust still looming over them, twin sisters Bronka and Johanna Lubinski and their parents arrive in the US from a Displaced Persons Camp. In the years after World War II, they experience the difficulties of adjusting to American culture as well as the burgeoning fear of the Cold War. Years later, the discovery of a former Nazi hiding in their comm With the cloud of the Holocaust still looming over them, twin sisters Bronka and Johanna Lubinski and their parents arrive in the US from a Displaced Persons Camp. In the years after World War II, they experience the difficulties of adjusting to American culture as well as the burgeoning fear of the Cold War. Years later, the discovery of a former Nazi hiding in their community brings the Holocaust out of the shadows. As the girls get older, they start to wonder about their parents’ pasts, and they begin to demand answers. But it soon becomes clear that those memories will be more difficult and painful to uncover than they could have anticipated. Poignant and haunting, The Takeaway Men explores the impact of immigration, identity, prejudice, secrets, and lies on parents and children in mid-twentieth-century America.


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With the cloud of the Holocaust still looming over them, twin sisters Bronka and Johanna Lubinski and their parents arrive in the US from a Displaced Persons Camp. In the years after World War II, they experience the difficulties of adjusting to American culture as well as the burgeoning fear of the Cold War. Years later, the discovery of a former Nazi hiding in their comm With the cloud of the Holocaust still looming over them, twin sisters Bronka and Johanna Lubinski and their parents arrive in the US from a Displaced Persons Camp. In the years after World War II, they experience the difficulties of adjusting to American culture as well as the burgeoning fear of the Cold War. Years later, the discovery of a former Nazi hiding in their community brings the Holocaust out of the shadows. As the girls get older, they start to wonder about their parents’ pasts, and they begin to demand answers. But it soon becomes clear that those memories will be more difficult and painful to uncover than they could have anticipated. Poignant and haunting, The Takeaway Men explores the impact of immigration, identity, prejudice, secrets, and lies on parents and children in mid-twentieth-century America.

30 review for The Takeaway Men

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    Bronka and Johanna are twin sisters who have arrived in the US from a Displaced Persons Camp after the Holocaust. The adjustment to the US is hard for the family because of the fear of the Cold War and all the cultural differences. Several years later, a former Nazi is found to be hiding in their local community, and it brings back all their fears. The Takeaway Men is a story of immigration and the prejudice that often comes along with it. It’s also a story of secrets and family. Overall, I was impr Bronka and Johanna are twin sisters who have arrived in the US from a Displaced Persons Camp after the Holocaust. The adjustment to the US is hard for the family because of the fear of the Cold War and all the cultural differences. Several years later, a former Nazi is found to be hiding in their local community, and it brings back all their fears. The Takeaway Men is a story of immigration and the prejudice that often comes along with it. It’s also a story of secrets and family. Overall, I was impressed with Meryl Ain’s storytelling. The Takeaway Men was so much more than I expected it to be. As a reader, I felt like I was completely inside the thoughts and fears of this family. I learned a great deal, and I cared about each of the characters. If you are looking for a unique take on the aftermath of the Holocaust and its lasting impact on a family, please give this one a second look. I received a gifted copy. All opinions are my own. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram.com/tarheelreader.com

  2. 4 out of 5

    Karren Sandercock

    The Lubinski family decides to have a fresh start and escape the dark cloud the Holocaust still has over them, they leave the displaced person camp in Germany and immigrate to America. Waiting for their ship to dock in New York are Aron’s cousin Izzy and his wife Faye; and they take Aron, Judy, Johanna and Bronka to their home in Belle-rose where they have set up two rooms for the family to live. America is a lot for the Lubinski’s to take in, it’s big, it’s noisy, very busy and very modern. The The Lubinski family decides to have a fresh start and escape the dark cloud the Holocaust still has over them, they leave the displaced person camp in Germany and immigrate to America. Waiting for their ship to dock in New York are Aron’s cousin Izzy and his wife Faye; and they take Aron, Judy, Johanna and Bronka to their home in Belle-rose where they have set up two rooms for the family to live. America is a lot for the Lubinski’s to take in, it’s big, it’s noisy, very busy and very modern. The girls adapt quickly, they make friends with Mindy who lives on the same street, and they learn to speak English and Aron starts work at one of Izzy’s bakeries. Aron still has the terrible nightmares and not even in his sleep can he escape the horror he experienced while living in the Jewish Ghetto in Kielce Poland. His daughters have no idea what happened to their dad during the Holocaust, they think he’s moody, grumpy, takes no pride in his appearance and they find him embarrassing. They go to a Hebrew school in the afternoons; here they learn some facts about the holocaust and want to know the truth about what happened to their parents during WW II? When Aron explains what happened to his family after the Nazis invaded Poland, the girls discover the truth is horrific; and their mother’s involvement is also a big shock. The Takeaway Men explores the impact of the Holocaust had on the survivors, how much they struggled after the war ended and no therapy was available back then. They lost everything; property, family, friends, jobs, faith and it changed them. Many experienced survivor’s guilt, they changed their names, moved to other countries, didn’t tell their children, and even spouses had no idea what they endured because what happened to them was often too painful to talk about and they didn’t want anyone to know. All thoughts shared in this review are my own and I gave The Takeaway Men four stars. I have shared my review on Goodreads, Amazon Australia, NetGalley, Edelweiss, Twitter, Kobo and my blog. https://karrenreadsbooks.blogspot.com/

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    2 sisters 2 decades 2 continents The story began in Kielce, Poland August of 1942 where Edita smuggles Jewish children out of the Ghetto and hides Jewish adults in their attic unbeknownst to her father, a Polish policemen who supported the Nazis against the Jews. The story revolves around twin sisters Johanna and Bronka who immigrated to the states from Poland in 1951 to Bellerose, New York. This Historical Fiction writing by Ain was easy to read, well researched and followed the story of this fami 2 sisters 2 decades 2 continents The story began in Kielce, Poland August of 1942 where Edita smuggles Jewish children out of the Ghetto and hides Jewish adults in their attic unbeknownst to her father, a Polish policemen who supported the Nazis against the Jews. The story revolves around twin sisters Johanna and Bronka who immigrated to the states from Poland in 1951 to Bellerose, New York. This Historical Fiction writing by Ain was easy to read, well researched and followed the story of this family with rich and intricate detail of the neighborhood, the people, the food, the shops and day to day goings-on. I was truly transported to that time and the neighborhood filled with refugees from all over including the Chinese, Italian, and Irish as well as Jewish refugees from Europe. Ain’s debut novel highlights the saga of the survivors post war illuminating their adjustment to the American culture with sensitivity and compassion. This was a powerful novel that follows a family and what they went through post the horrors of Holocaust as survivors, and navigating the Jewish American landscape in mid -twentieth-century America. This was an exceptional read not to be missed.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jypsy

    Thank you Iread Book Tours for a complimentary copy. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions expressed are my own. The Takeaway Men By: Meryl Ain REVIEW ☆☆☆☆ Being Jewish in Poland during the WWII era spelled almost certain death. Many survivors chose to leave everything behind for a fresh start in the United States. Aron and Edyta, with twin daughters Bronka and Johanna, were one such couple, landing ultimately in Queens. The Takeaway Men by Meryl Ain presents a fresh perspective of life Thank you Iread Book Tours for a complimentary copy. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions expressed are my own. The Takeaway Men By: Meryl Ain REVIEW ☆☆☆☆ Being Jewish in Poland during the WWII era spelled almost certain death. Many survivors chose to leave everything behind for a fresh start in the United States. Aron and Edyta, with twin daughters Bronka and Johanna, were one such couple, landing ultimately in Queens. The Takeaway Men by Meryl Ain presents a fresh perspective of life post WWII for Jewish Americans. I don't always consider how survivors carried on after the horrors inflicted upon them, but it is a topic I want to learn about more. Aron and Edyta decide to withhold their history of horrors from their daughters, and this was a personal choice that would likely vary from one family to another. Would you tell your children about your experiences or not? Some survivors spoke constantly about the post, some lived for revenge, and some remained silent. As the twins grow up, curiosity lends itself to questions about their parents' past. An incident prompts some things to happen, and eventually, Aron and Edyta face a time of decision. Whatever they decide, Bronka and Johanna will be forever affected. This story gives some insight into the daily life of Jewish Americans, and I found this informative. I cannot begin to imagine the difficulties faced daily from external forces and internal turmoil. The paranoia and secrets, worry about your children, making ends meet, and all the while remembering everything you want to, but can't, forget. Meryl Ain gives these characters authentic distinctive voices through multiple perspectives, and this made them more realistic and genuine. I felt such sorrow and sadness as I read this amazing story, but there were moments of light, too. Any fan of WWII historical fiction will find this book compelling for its unique look at life after war. I definitely recommend it!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    Not many HF novels deal with the immediate aftermath of WW2, especially for immigrants, so I was immediately intrigued by this book! The Lubinski family arrive in the US from a Polish displace persons’ camp, each carrying their own scars. Aaron grapples with the loss of his entire family to the Nazi death camps. Judy, his wife, has a secret of her own she has not told anyone about. And whilst the twins Bronka and Johanna were born after the war, they are scarred by their father’s dark moods and Not many HF novels deal with the immediate aftermath of WW2, especially for immigrants, so I was immediately intrigued by this book! The Lubinski family arrive in the US from a Polish displace persons’ camp, each carrying their own scars. Aaron grapples with the loss of his entire family to the Nazi death camps. Judy, his wife, has a secret of her own she has not told anyone about. And whilst the twins Bronka and Johanna were born after the war, they are scarred by their father’s dark moods and post traumatic stress responses. The book follows the family as they adapt to their new life in a foreign country. As kids are apt to do, the girls settle in quickly whilst the parents – especially Aaron – find it a lot more difficult to leave the past behind. With a keen eye for detail and subtle nuances, Ain’s exploration of Jewish life in the US in the aftermath of WW2 was both interesting as touching. It made me reflect on many of the themes it touched on, such as the after-effects of trauma, even on the next generation, who have only experienced the horror second-hand, through stories and their parents’ reaction to situations. It was interesting to see how many holocaust survivors wanted to shield their children from the horror they had endured by keeping their pasts hidden, which ultimately led to division and referred trauma, whilst others were open about discussing the past. I think I would have become more immersed in the novel if it had focused on the Lubinskis rather than including many side characters, which led to some emotional detachment on my part. And whilst it was interesting to see the interconnection of the different families, I was never quite as invested in those chapters as I was in the twins’. However, THE TAKEAWAY MEN made me reflect on many of my encounters with holocaust survivors through my work, which mirrored some of the actions and feelings of different characters in the book. All in all, THE TAKEAWAY MEN was an interesting and touching character study of Jewish immigrant life in the US after WW2, and I appreciated the topics the author highlighted in her story, especially the after-effects of trauma on future generations. 3.5 stars Thank you to Netgalley and Spark Press for the free electronic copy of this novel and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review. *blog* *facebook* *instagram*

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    Thank you to the author for this book which I won on her Facebook page. I'm a lover of Jewish fiction and this one was so good. It's hard to me to say it was enjoyable since it covered the atrocities of the Nazis, and everything else to do with the prison camps. I loved the family of Aron, Judy, Bronka and Johanna. The twins were so fun to read about especially when they were growing up in the 50s since I was born in 1958 and the things they were interested in and Hebrew school, which brought back Thank you to the author for this book which I won on her Facebook page. I'm a lover of Jewish fiction and this one was so good. It's hard to me to say it was enjoyable since it covered the atrocities of the Nazis, and everything else to do with the prison camps. I loved the family of Aron, Judy, Bronka and Johanna. The twins were so fun to read about especially when they were growing up in the 50s since I was born in 1958 and the things they were interested in and Hebrew school, which brought back memories. The girls learned about Hitler from their friends and the book The Diary of Anne Frank from their friends. There were many more characters in this book, too numerous to mention but do have to mention Izzy & Faye, whom they lived with and Aron's relative. The ending was sad but it finally brought the book to closure about Judy's former life and how she met Aron. They were always afraid to tell the truth but the letter that was sent to Judy finally brought it to closure.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Valerie Taylor

    There is much to take away with The Takeaway Men In The Takeaway Men (Sparks Press), Meryl Ain sheds much-needed light on a topic rarely explored. What happened to the families that survived the Holocaust? This story is about one such family—the Lubinskis. Mostly through the eyes of twin sisters, Bronka and Johanna, and through the actions of their parents Judy and Aron, we witness this family’s struggle to acclimate to a post-WWII world. In 1951, they arrive by ship in New York Harbor from a Displ There is much to take away with The Takeaway Men In The Takeaway Men (Sparks Press), Meryl Ain sheds much-needed light on a topic rarely explored. What happened to the families that survived the Holocaust? This story is about one such family—the Lubinskis. Mostly through the eyes of twin sisters, Bronka and Johanna, and through the actions of their parents Judy and Aron, we witness this family’s struggle to acclimate to a post-WWII world. In 1951, they arrive by ship in New York Harbor from a Displaced Persons Camp outside of Munich, Germany, with few belongings, as well as family secrets that remain hidden until 1962. Together with the four Lubinskis, we move into the cozy home of cousins Izzy and Faye in Bellerose, New York. We grow with them as the girls attend school in America and develop their individual personalities, interests, and friends. We admire their father as he dutifully works in Izzy’s bakery and embraces his faith to a deeper extent than Izzy. And we support and protect Judy as she tries to please Faye who’s curious about Judy’s lack of knowledge of Jewish traditions. As years pass and the girls begin to learn outside of their home about the horrors of Hitler and the Holocaust, they have questions that demand answers. Will Judy and Aron reveal the truth about their past? Throughout The Takeaway Men, Ms. Ain masterfully interweaves sub-plots that show us exactly what life was like for Jewish refugees in this country back in the 1950s. Her story forces us to reflect on our own beliefs and to confront the realities of hateful discrimination in our world today. Though the story focuses primarily on the twin sisters, Ms. Ain intentionally provides us with an ensemble cast, weaving multiple points of view that are clear and easily followed. A favorite character of mine is Faye—strong, opinionated, wise. Through her, we see Judy grow into the loving wife and mother she was always meant to be. Don’t be misled. The Takeaway Men is not just a story about life after the Holocaust. Growing up Polish Catholic myself, I was particularly drawn in by this Polish Jewish family and felt deep sorrow for those who experienced this hell then and for all those who are discriminated against today. It’s a story about immigration, faith, honesty, courage, and strong family ties that can and never should be broken. As I closed the cover on this powerful novel, I was struck by how it had started and how it concluded. Just as Judy gave Aron a safety net in her attic to protect him from the Nazis, Izzy and Faye anchored the Lubinskis by opening up the attic in their home and sharing their abundance of love. Readers will discover vivid descriptions, a fast-moving story, and richly developed characters whose dialogue is colorful and engaging. And for those unfamiliar with Yiddish or Hebrew, there’s a helpful Glossary in the back of the book. What is that quote? “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” One of the best ways to learn history is through historical fiction like Meryl Ain’s The Takeaway Men. An important story for teens and adults alike.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Betty

    A poignant family story of survival and new starts, love and forgiveness. The Lubinski family – Aron, Judy, and twin daughter JoJo and Bronka seem to be adapting well to their new home in America, but both parents are hiding secrets. Their daughters have no knowledge of the atrocities their parents endured in war-torn Poland. They know nothing of the difficult decision their parents made to leave a displaced persons camp in Germany to start a new life in New York City. The book has an interesting A poignant family story of survival and new starts, love and forgiveness. The Lubinski family – Aron, Judy, and twin daughter JoJo and Bronka seem to be adapting well to their new home in America, but both parents are hiding secrets. Their daughters have no knowledge of the atrocities their parents endured in war-torn Poland. They know nothing of the difficult decision their parents made to leave a displaced persons camp in Germany to start a new life in New York City. The book has an interesting, diverse cast of characters. The majority have, in some way, been impacted by the Holocaust. Some can’t stop talking about it; others prefer to keep it in the past. Aron never talks about his life in Poland and is still plagued with nightmares; often cranky and unaffectionate. Dyta is seen as a Jewish super-mom, but she is terrified her shocking secret will be revealed. JoJo is eager to fit in, while Bronka is very analytical. I experienced feelings of compassion, frustration, and anger while reading the book. Judy (real name Edyta, nickname Dyta) seemed to bear the brunt of the backlash that came from the revelation of some of their secrets. What would happen when all their secrets would be exposed? Are they wrong in trying to shield their daughters? I give the book four stars because of its abrupt ending. I thought the author tried to cover a lot of territory, thus glossing over some topics after throwing them in the mix. A lot was going on at that time – the threat of Communism and nuclear war, the trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, and former Nazis living among them. However, the book was still an excellent read and hauntingly reflects the prejudices Holocaust refugees encountered upon their immigration to the US. I received an ARC from iReads Blog Tours. The opinions expressed here are entirely mine.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Angel Martin

    This book was the perfect mix of informative and entertaining. Before picking this book up, I thought I knew nearly all there was to know about the Holocaust. This taught me things I didn't even think were possible, and I also learned a lot about the Jewish traditions. The fictional aspect helped keep me interested in the story, but there were still a few parts that felt slow to me. Even with some of the explanations of some parts of the Jewish culture, I was still confused at certain points, but This book was the perfect mix of informative and entertaining. Before picking this book up, I thought I knew nearly all there was to know about the Holocaust. This taught me things I didn't even think were possible, and I also learned a lot about the Jewish traditions. The fictional aspect helped keep me interested in the story, but there were still a few parts that felt slow to me. Even with some of the explanations of some parts of the Jewish culture, I was still confused at certain points, but it didn't make the book any less enjoyable. The depth of the characters was brilliant. Ain managed to make you dislike characters yet still sympathise with them, which is something that's extremely rare for me. She introduced new information about each character regularly, though it didn't seem too overwhelming. This is one of the best books I've read based during the Holocaust and World War II. If you're interested in WWII, I highly suggest giving this book a read. Even if you aren't too interested, the book might change that. Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book via iRead Book Tours and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elise Schiller

    This is the story of what happens after the war to immigrants from Poland who bring with them harrowing memories and survivors' guilt. Father, Mother, and twin girls leave Europe and arrive in New York and settle in with cousins in Queens. The Queens setting of the early 50s was very well done--the homes, the neighborhood, the stores--and the insular nature of it all. While the men in the story are busy building businesses and trying to make their idea of the American dream come true, most of th This is the story of what happens after the war to immigrants from Poland who bring with them harrowing memories and survivors' guilt. Father, Mother, and twin girls leave Europe and arrive in New York and settle in with cousins in Queens. The Queens setting of the early 50s was very well done--the homes, the neighborhood, the stores--and the insular nature of it all. While the men in the story are busy building businesses and trying to make their idea of the American dream come true, most of the women accommodate everyone--generally true for women, certainly of that generation, regardless of their religion or their status--and we see the emotional toll that takes. The Jewish women who are responsible for maintaining all the rituals of the Jewish home are especially well portrayed. The young twins and their friends are busy assimilating, creating happiness and some regrets for the adults. There have been an incredible number of WWII novels in recent years. This is the unusual book that looks at what happened immediately afterward. The secrets that are kept and eventually revealed reinforce that the past is always with us.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Litzsiereads

    A smooth and insightful historical fiction novel about a family adjusting to American culture after being victims to the horrors of the Holocaust and keeping it a secret from their daughters in an attempt to protect and move on from their past. As I reflect on the overall novel, I really appreciated how readers were able to see each family members inner battles and thoughts on fitting into the American culture and the history of the Jews. We read perspectives from children to growing up as teena A smooth and insightful historical fiction novel about a family adjusting to American culture after being victims to the horrors of the Holocaust and keeping it a secret from their daughters in an attempt to protect and move on from their past. As I reflect on the overall novel, I really appreciated how readers were able to see each family members inner battles and thoughts on fitting into the American culture and the history of the Jews. We read perspectives from children to growing up as teenagers to adults. It wasn't an intense or emotional read which was nice since a lot of novels with this theme cane be. The ending I found abrupt but overall, I truly enjoyed this read and would describe it as a page turner. Thank you SparkPress through Netgalley for approving my request to read The Takeaway Men in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    L. Bordetsky-Williams

    The Takeaway Men takes an important and crucial look at the aftermath of the Holocaust. It is a well-researched and beautiful novel. We see a family grapple with its secrets and with all that is unutterable and beyond language to express; and yet Meryl Ain manages to convey the differing responses to trauma--from the need to speak to the need to remain silent. She also looks at how children of Holocaust survivors attempt to make sense of all that is beyond sense. It is a beautiful and poignant s The Takeaway Men takes an important and crucial look at the aftermath of the Holocaust. It is a well-researched and beautiful novel. We see a family grapple with its secrets and with all that is unutterable and beyond language to express; and yet Meryl Ain manages to convey the differing responses to trauma--from the need to speak to the need to remain silent. She also looks at how children of Holocaust survivors attempt to make sense of all that is beyond sense. It is a beautiful and poignant story.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    The Takeaway Men by Meryl Ain is an excellent historical fiction that encompasses several themes. This is a story of trauma, horror, heartbreak, resilience, loss, love, second changes, secrets, and forgiveness. Through this book, we read not only of just one family's experience during the Shoah, but of many families and individuals experiences. We learn of events that occurred in Europe, in America, and also learn of their lives that continue on post-war. The novel starts with one family's exper The Takeaway Men by Meryl Ain is an excellent historical fiction that encompasses several themes. This is a story of trauma, horror, heartbreak, resilience, loss, love, second changes, secrets, and forgiveness. Through this book, we read not only of just one family's experience during the Shoah, but of many families and individuals experiences. We learn of events that occurred in Europe, in America, and also learn of their lives that continue on post-war. The novel starts with one family's experience from Poland during and immediately after the war, their flight from Poland to a German Displaced Persons Camp, their immigration to America, and their post-war lives. Here in Bellerose, NY we see a community all affected by WWII and how they are all coping with the atrocities. We are first privy to Aron and Judy Lubinski's inner thoughts as they escape from Europe and come to America to stay with Faye and Izzy Lubinski (Izzy was Aron's father's first cousin) in their home with their twin girls. As they adjust and learn to create a second life, the narrative jumps from one person's mind and perspectives to others. We are able to get inside the thought processes of Faye, Izzy, Aron, Judy, neighbors: Lenora, Jennie, Irv, Jakob, Eva, and others. We also get to see inside the twin girls' thoughts (Bronka and Johanna) as young girls and as they grow up. Everyone in this community has experienced this horrific situation in one way or another. Some experiences more traumatic then others. Each person has their own identity and their own way of working through their experiences and how they cope with the after effects. Some talk openly about their experiences, others chose to smother their fears and feelings negatively affecting their own relationships and lives. There are secrets throughout. It seems as if almost everyone is hiding something or someone. It is fascinating to see the human psyche and to see how flaws are justified and addressed. I absolutely loved to read through the changes (time period wise and maturing wise). This book was definitely not what I thought it was going to originally be, however I was pleasantly surprised. This book, I feel is unique, and very much needed. To be able to jump from one person to the next and see inside into the deep recesses of their souls, was breathtaking. As a fellow person of the Jewish faith, it is vital to continue to express, support, and acknowledge the atrocities that occurred to our people, as well as so many others and continue to educate future generations to avoid this from ever occurring again. Excellent 5/5 stars Thank you EW and SparkPress for this ARC and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon and B&N accounts upon publication.

  14. 4 out of 5

    BreeAnn (She Just Loves Books)

    What I Loved: I read a lot of historical fiction, and a significant amount of those books revolves around WWII, so I’m always excited when I find a book that provides a new perspective on the war. The Takeaway Men was a beautiful, emotional journey into the lives of holocaust survivors as they immigrate to America. We experience their joys and sorrows as they try to navigate a new world, and it is a beautiful story. How I Felt: The Lubinski family has experienced so many horrors at the hands of the What I Loved: I read a lot of historical fiction, and a significant amount of those books revolves around WWII, so I’m always excited when I find a book that provides a new perspective on the war. The Takeaway Men was a beautiful, emotional journey into the lives of holocaust survivors as they immigrate to America. We experience their joys and sorrows as they try to navigate a new world, and it is a beautiful story. How I Felt: The Lubinski family has experienced so many horrors at the hands of the Nazis during World War II and has decided to make a fresh start in America. This new country is so different from anything they have experienced before. It is vast, loud, and new. While the twin girls begin to settle in quickly, Aron is plagued by his past. His Holocaust experiences are a secret from his girls, which creates a rift between the father and his daughters. When their Hebrew school covers the war and the treatment of Jewish people, the girls want to learn about their parents’ past. The characters were so beautifully written in this story. I felt their sadness and their joy. Meryl Ain did a fabulous job of building these people to be so real on the pages. I liked that the story is told through multiple perspectives. I believe that this writing choice is what made the characters feel so tangible. Reading from their viewpoint brought their emotions and thoughts to life. This story is about the horrors of World War II, but it also brings to light the effects of the war for people after it was over. That view is something that isn’t often shared in books, and I really enjoyed reading about it. It’s an emotional story filled with the trauma, nightmares, and guilt that came with people as they tried to start their lives over. It’s a beautiful story and one that I don’t think you should miss! To Read or Not To Read: I would recommend The Takeaway Men for readers that enjoy an emotional historical fiction story! I was provided a gifted copy of this book for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily. My full review of this book will post to my blog on 7/29/20. All of my reviews can be found at https://shejustlovesbooks.com/all-boo...

  15. 5 out of 5

    LAWonder10

    Although 'The Takeaway Men' is fiction, much of the events and circumstances are factual. This is a story of a Jew and A Gentile and the horrific nightmare of circumstances they endured in Poland during World War ll and in the aftermath. Needing to escape the memories and ongoing hostilities, they were able to Immigrate to America. There the Jewish man, Aron, had a cousin who took them in and gave them a home, a job, and a new family. Just before beginning their new life, the Gentile, Edyta, gave Although 'The Takeaway Men' is fiction, much of the events and circumstances are factual. This is a story of a Jew and A Gentile and the horrific nightmare of circumstances they endured in Poland during World War ll and in the aftermath. Needing to escape the memories and ongoing hostilities, they were able to Immigrate to America. There the Jewish man, Aron, had a cousin who took them in and gave them a home, a job, and a new family. Just before beginning their new life, the Gentile, Edyta, gave birth - a month early - to twin girls. Before arriving in America, Edyta and the girls needed to change their names to Jewish/American names. While living at their new residence in America, the Twins grow and develop friendships with both Jewish and Gentile Friends, but were raised strictly Jewish by their parents. The story, also, relates experiences of some of the newfound friends and neighbors. As with all things in life, the story tells of various degrees of strictness in living one's religious beliefs, of various degrees of prejudice, and of various degrees of self one chooses to allow others to see. I found it "true to form" how different each individual responds to situations and others, even within a family unit. It is harrowing, to me, how inhumane and cruel individuals can be to others simply because of differences in beliefs, race, religion, social class, skin color and other physical differences... Still, at the same time, claim to be Christian, God-like, or just a "decent" human being, while their actions shout-out otherwise! It is important to be reminded of the past, in hope of preventing a repeated perspicacity. Love, Peace, Acceptance and Freedom from Unjust Condemnation needs to become a priority before true happiness can be achieved. Th book was very interesting and well-written. it did lack a bit of clarity n a few places as to who was talking, and the ending needed to be slightly stronger. *This was gifted me with no pressure for a positive review. This is my honest review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sue Seligman

    Aron and Judy Lubinski and their twin daughters, Johanna and Bronka, leave a German Displaced Person’s Camp and move to Queens, New York in order to begin a new life. Aron’s cousin Izzy and his wife Faye, make room in their home for the family, and their new life is about to begin. The little girls adjust easily to their new environment, but Aron is still plagued by the nightmares of his experiences in the Holocaust and the loss of his immediate family members. Judy appears to be hiding some sec Aron and Judy Lubinski and their twin daughters, Johanna and Bronka, leave a German Displaced Person’s Camp and move to Queens, New York in order to begin a new life. Aron’s cousin Izzy and his wife Faye, make room in their home for the family, and their new life is about to begin. The little girls adjust easily to their new environment, but Aron is still plagued by the nightmares of his experiences in the Holocaust and the loss of his immediate family members. Judy appears to be hiding some secrets of her own, but she devotes all her energy to creating a perfect Jewish home with the assistance of Faye. Meryl Ain creates an accurate picture of American culture and current events during the 1950s and 1960s, and depicts the desire of many Jewish people to assimilate to the demands and expectations of their immediate environment. We learn about the uncertainties of the Cold War, the Rosenberg trial and air raid drills at school. The emergence of popular culture in the form of toys (Ginny dolls, Tiny Tears dolls) and television (American Bandstand, Howdy Doody) is introduced. This novel is a terrific portrayal of Jewish life of the time, and although I grew up in Long Island during the 1960s and 1970s, I totally related to the young girls who are the protagonists in this story. The shadow of the Holocaust is ever present in Aron’s mood changes and his difficulty accepting the easy and what he perceives to be selfish life style of America. The prevailing attitude among many survivors within their circle is that they should not talk about their experiences to others and especially not to the children. As the girls grow up, they have difficulty understanding their father’s moodiness and start to develop their own ways of coping. The plot is enhanced with the other characters in the novel, many of whom have very interesting experiences of their own. I enjoyed this novel very much and I would love to read a sequel following the futures of many of the characters. Great book for those who are interested I. Reading about Jewish family life in the 1950s and 1960s.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    I’ve read a lot of historical fiction that covered WWII but nothing like this book. I loved that Ain actually took us through life after the war, in a new country, and told a very emotional story filled with many characters so we experienced several perspectives. I learned so much about Jewish life and appreciated how Ain mixed in Yiddish and Hebrew words. And reading the author’s note enriched the experience even more. I feel like this short book packed in so much and I walked away knowing so mu I’ve read a lot of historical fiction that covered WWII but nothing like this book. I loved that Ain actually took us through life after the war, in a new country, and told a very emotional story filled with many characters so we experienced several perspectives. I learned so much about Jewish life and appreciated how Ain mixed in Yiddish and Hebrew words. And reading the author’s note enriched the experience even more. I feel like this short book packed in so much and I walked away knowing so much more about what it’s like to be in the shoes of those very different from me. I would recommend this one to fans of historical fiction who would like to know more about life after war. I received an advanced copy in exchange for this review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    A haunting and poignant story of the struggles faced by many people especially children who escaped the fate that many people did not during the Holocaust. With trying to put the horrors and pain of it behind and moving to America that brings its own challenges. The book itself is fiction but many facts and real truths that many left behind faced are brought to light in this book. Truly heartbreaking and inspiring to read! I highly recommend this book!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    The Takeaway Men is a fresh take on the impact of the Holocaust on survivors and their children. I especially enjoyed the focus on the twins, Bronka and JoJo, as they grow up in in post WW II Queens, NY. Their neighborhood looks idyllic, but there are always troubles lurking for them and their "baby boomer" friends. These fears, which include the threat of nuclear war and The Red Scare, are exemplified by the apt title of the book, The Takeaway Men, which the author explains is the metaphor for The Takeaway Men is a fresh take on the impact of the Holocaust on survivors and their children. I especially enjoyed the focus on the twins, Bronka and JoJo, as they grow up in in post WW II Queens, NY. Their neighborhood looks idyllic, but there are always troubles lurking for them and their "baby boomer" friends. These fears, which include the threat of nuclear war and The Red Scare, are exemplified by the apt title of the book, The Takeaway Men, which the author explains is the metaphor for Bronka's fears. The book is both an easy read and a profound commentary on inter- generational trauma, immigration and prejudice. It is a work of historical fiction, but many of the deep questions raised are relevant today. The beauty of The Takeaway Men is that it can be read on many levels. It makes us think about issues that are rarely found in novels, such as The Rosenberg Spy Case and the indifference to Nazis hiding in plain sight. The Kiecle Pogrom, which took place in 1946, is a little known piece of post-war Polish history, which is a chilling and cautionary tale for today. It makes us think, what is our responsibility to speak out and act when we see evil? The ending left me wanting to know more about what happened to the characters. The story and its inhabitants have stayed in my heart and my head. A terrific read!!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    For the Lubinski's arriving in the USA was a fresh and new start. A time to put the past behind them, as well as try to forget. I haven't read a book like this one in a while. For Aron and Dyta (Judy) along with twin daughters crossing the ocean is the perfect opportunity. As the girls get older they learn about the Holocaust, witness things and begin to question their parents. I love the cover and feel it reflects twins with different personalities and looks. The author definitely researched a l For the Lubinski's arriving in the USA was a fresh and new start. A time to put the past behind them, as well as try to forget. I haven't read a book like this one in a while. For Aron and Dyta (Judy) along with twin daughters crossing the ocean is the perfect opportunity. As the girls get older they learn about the Holocaust, witness things and begin to question their parents. I love the cover and feel it reflects twins with different personalities and looks. The author definitely researched a lot for this book. There is a wide cast of characters in these 244 pages with lives linked by friendship, the past and their faith. Touching on a lot of different subjects aside from WW2 made it hard to feel a connection to the players here. Very much a telling book verses a show. Like I said the author painted a picture of life in the '50s and '60s in terms of mental illness and women's roles. A new perspective of healing after a horrible time in history. My thanks to iRead Book Tours for an advanced print copy in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Phyllis Lader

    Once you start reading Meryl Ain's The Takeaway Men, you'll never want to stop. In telling the poignant story of the very different twin Lubinski girls born to enigmatic parents who are guarding their own painful memories of the Holocaust, Ain masterfully evokes a time, place and culture-Bellerose, Queens in the 1950s. You can almost taste the matzo balls! But you don't have to be Jewish to appreciate this novel, because the theme is universal. When the past is punctuated by horror, while the pr Once you start reading Meryl Ain's The Takeaway Men, you'll never want to stop. In telling the poignant story of the very different twin Lubinski girls born to enigmatic parents who are guarding their own painful memories of the Holocaust, Ain masterfully evokes a time, place and culture-Bellerose, Queens in the 1950s. You can almost taste the matzo balls! But you don't have to be Jewish to appreciate this novel, because the theme is universal. When the past is punctuated by horror, while the present offers so much hope for the future, how much of that past should be shared with your children and your extended family? Only time will tell whether the Lubinskis can truly free themselves from the Takeaway Men, and I, for one, would love to read even more.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    It was really interesting to see this family adjust to their new environment and reality. It was also interesting to notice the differences in those adjustments between the parents and the young daughters. Another interesting aspect of the story: the pacing. I didn’t re-read the synopsis before I started reading it and was expecting it to take place over a shorter period of time. Instead it started in 1942 and ended in 1962. Each chapter was titled and dated, and jumped a little farther ahead ea It was really interesting to see this family adjust to their new environment and reality. It was also interesting to notice the differences in those adjustments between the parents and the young daughters. Another interesting aspect of the story: the pacing. I didn’t re-read the synopsis before I started reading it and was expecting it to take place over a shorter period of time. Instead it started in 1942 and ended in 1962. Each chapter was titled and dated, and jumped a little farther ahead each time. Sometimes that can leave me feeling like information was glossed over, but it worked for this story. It gave me all the big important events of their lives while moving it ahead in a way that made the pages then very quickly. I especially appreciated the glossary and author’s note at the end of the book. Getting that little bit of extra info from the author on what went into the creation of the story always add just a little bit more to my reading experience.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sydney Long

    First and foremost, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Meryl Ain has compiled a colorful cast of characters against the backdrop of Jewish refugees trying to find a future in Queens during the 1950’s-60’s. Secrets, lies and coverups are attached to the characters all with the intent of protecting the younger generation. What I love most about this book is how different each character is....from a father who lost his whole family in the Holocaust and despite moving to the US, cannot let go or talk a First and foremost, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Meryl Ain has compiled a colorful cast of characters against the backdrop of Jewish refugees trying to find a future in Queens during the 1950’s-60’s. Secrets, lies and coverups are attached to the characters all with the intent of protecting the younger generation. What I love most about this book is how different each character is....from a father who lost his whole family in the Holocaust and despite moving to the US, cannot let go or talk about the last. A mother who completely covered up her true identity as a savior and a hero to take care of her husband. Fraternal twins who couldn’t be more different yet confide only in each other. It’s hard to sum up this story without spoiling it. The title and the abrupt ending are my only issues with an incredible story. I’m not quite sure how the title relates to the story but that might come to me as I continue to think about it. For me, it ended suddenly. I wasn’t ready for it to be over. I wanted more so Ms.Ain...mission accomplished! Thank you NetGalley for the early copy!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kim N'

    This book was very well researched and gave insight into the different ways survivors of the Holocaust coped with their experience. It also made me more curious about the trial and conviction of the Rosenbergs in the 1950s. I plan to do more reading on that subject. All in all it was worth the time, but it isn’t on my top 10.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Aron and Edyta Lubinski have survived the horrors of Poland during World War II. Edyta risked her life to relocate children and then hid Aron away in her attic. After the War, Aron and Edyta don't feel comfortable in Poland and find their way to a Displaced Persons Camp where Edyta converts to Judaism and gives birth to twin girls, Bronka and Johanna. Aron and Edyta find a way to the United States where they live with Aron's relatives, Izzy and Faye. Once in America Aron delves deeper into his r Aron and Edyta Lubinski have survived the horrors of Poland during World War II. Edyta risked her life to relocate children and then hid Aron away in her attic. After the War, Aron and Edyta don't feel comfortable in Poland and find their way to a Displaced Persons Camp where Edyta converts to Judaism and gives birth to twin girls, Bronka and Johanna. Aron and Edyta find a way to the United States where they live with Aron's relatives, Izzy and Faye. Once in America Aron delves deeper into his religion and attempts to forget about the horrors of his past, never talking about his story. Dyta strives to be the best Jewish wife she can be while Johanna and Bronka find their place in American culture. The girls grow up knowing they are Jewish, but without any knowledge of their parent's past. As Communism stretches into their neighborhood, the family witnesses a Jewish neighbor being arrested for ties to Communism and Aron is immediately reminded of his time in Poland. His fear transfers to his daughter Bronka who yearns for the full story while Johanna takes a more carefree approach to life. When the truth of their parent's past comes through, Bronka and Johanna are shocked while Aron and Edyta must finally come forth with the secrets of their family. The Takeaway Men is an insightful and heartfelt look into the experiences of Jewish immigrants after World War II. Aron and Dyta's experience was unique, although no less harrowing than many of their Jewish neighbors in New York. It was interesting to see the different approaches to dealing with the trauma that each family experienced during the War from constantly telling everyone they meet their experiences, to trying to enact revenge, and trying to hide their experiences from everyone. The effects of Aron's fear and shame was apparent through Bronka's panic attacks and showed just how lasting trauma can be. It was really thought provoking to see the similarities drawn between the arrests for Communism in America and for being Jewish in Europe. The story was told from the third person point of view in order to incorporate everyone's very different experiences; however, through this lens, I didn't feel like I connected with anyone. At the end, I was happy that the truth had come out, but I did wish that I could see the effects of this on the twins. This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

    Let me start by saying that I *technically* give this book a 4.5 star rating. When I was first given an opportunity to receive a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review, I was ecstatic. History is one of my favorite things to learn about, and I’d done extensive research/reading on the holocaust. That desire for more knowledge had been stoked by The Diary of Anne Frank, which was one of my favorite books growing up. But this book? The Takeaway Men? It talks about what happened to J Let me start by saying that I *technically* give this book a 4.5 star rating. When I was first given an opportunity to receive a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review, I was ecstatic. History is one of my favorite things to learn about, and I’d done extensive research/reading on the holocaust. That desire for more knowledge had been stoked by The Diary of Anne Frank, which was one of my favorite books growing up. But this book? The Takeaway Men? It talks about what happened to Jewish (and Polish) families after the holocaust. I can’t think of any really great stories that talk about life after. Yes, I’ve read some nonfiction titles and while I enjoy those, it isn’t quite the same as getting lost in a story. I have only a single complaint about the book. The beginning dragged a bit for me, although honestly, I can’t say why. I placed the book down and restarted twice because of this. But, about the second or third chapter, the story pulls you in and holds you hostage. Again, I’m not sure why the beginning didn’t draw me in the same way, but it may just be a “me” thing. The characters are well-developed, believable, and flawed. Anyone who has read my previous reviews knows I’m a sucker for humanly flawed characters – and Mrs. Meryl Ain delivered. I won’t go into details because I don’t want to spoil the book in any form. BUT she has her characters doing realistically “bad” things and yet, you can’t help but love them nonetheless. Ain has you feeling for all of them – side characters and primary alike. The entire neighborhood came alive before my eyes and I lost a few nights of sleep. The underlying mystery adds to the plot. What happened to the twin’s parents during the Holocaust? It’s a constant “background plot” that keeps you reading in the hopes you’ll learn. Of course, I can’t say whether you find out or not, but I can say that I would definitely be interested in reading anything else the author writes in the future. The cover is intriguing and gives you a realistic idea of what to expect inside the story. The cover receives my ultra-rare “A+” rating (given to, I think, only three other covers ever) because it fills me with a sense of bittersweet melancholy… yet somehow also gives me the sense of hope. This feeling the cover gives me (and gave me before I ever began reading) is exactly how the story feels when you’re reading it.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Stefanie Ball

    The Takeaway Men by Meryl Ain is historical fiction set after the Holocaust. It tells the story of a Jewish family and their move to America after leaving a DP. It also talks about the struggle to assimilate into American life, especially for the father. This novel is a story about love, secrets and the importance of family. I loved this book. Very well written and the characters stick with you long after you are done reading. If you are interested in post WW II fiction, this is an excellent sel The Takeaway Men by Meryl Ain is historical fiction set after the Holocaust. It tells the story of a Jewish family and their move to America after leaving a DP. It also talks about the struggle to assimilate into American life, especially for the father. This novel is a story about love, secrets and the importance of family. I loved this book. Very well written and the characters stick with you long after you are done reading. If you are interested in post WW II fiction, this is an excellent selection. A beautifully written story full of heart. I thoroughly enjoyed it!! I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Laura

    The Takeaway Men by Meryl Ain is a heart-wrenching tale of a Jewish family starting over in America after the Holocaust. The story follows twin girls who have very different personalities. Their parents decide it is best to keep them sheltered from the Holocaust and it's atrocities, but the girls learn little bits about it from their neighbors and teachers. They want to know their family's story and when their parents finally tell them in a family meeting, the story ends. Abruptly. We do not get The Takeaway Men by Meryl Ain is a heart-wrenching tale of a Jewish family starting over in America after the Holocaust. The story follows twin girls who have very different personalities. Their parents decide it is best to keep them sheltered from the Holocaust and it's atrocities, but the girls learn little bits about it from their neighbors and teachers. They want to know their family's story and when their parents finally tell them in a family meeting, the story ends. Abruptly. We do not get to learn the endings to any of the subplots in the story. It is as if the author ran out of fuel. I would like to know what happens to Becky, the schizophrenic cousin. What happens to the neighbor, Leonore, does she end up with Al? Does Judy and Aron ever get a place of their own? Why so many loose ends? I commend the author for her extensive research in the setting and development of characters. But the ending fell flat. Thank you to Netgalley for an early copy of this book. All my opinions are my own.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    The Takeaway Men is an excellent historical fiction story. The story is set after the Holocaust and shows the impact of survivors and their children. This story resonated with me on so many levels. Queens, NY in the 1950’s is something I can picture so easily. As a child I spent so much time on those same streets with my grandparents. I could taste and smell the chicken soup and matzo balls and all the other Jewish food that was part of growing up. Once I started reading putting it down was impo The Takeaway Men is an excellent historical fiction story. The story is set after the Holocaust and shows the impact of survivors and their children. This story resonated with me on so many levels. Queens, NY in the 1950’s is something I can picture so easily. As a child I spent so much time on those same streets with my grandparents. I could taste and smell the chicken soup and matzo balls and all the other Jewish food that was part of growing up. Once I started reading putting it down was impossible. The story of a Jewish family leaving Poland to a Displaced Camp in Germany. From Germany to being immigrants in America and how they deal with their past, fears and moving forward as they try to assimilate to life in America. Love, secrets and the importance of family. I received an ARC prior to publication and decided to voluntarily review it. Thank you to Meryl Ain and SparkPress for giving me the opportunity to read this book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Aron and Edyta Lubinski have survived the horrors of Poland during World War II.  Edyta risked her life to relocate children and then hid Aron away in her attic.  After the War, Aron and Edyta don't feel comfortable in Poland and find their way to a Displaced Persons Camp where Edyta converts to Judaism and gives birth to twin girls, Bronka and Johanna.  Aron and Edyta find a way to the United States where they live with Aron's relatives, Izzy and Faye.  Once in America Aron delves deeper into h Aron and Edyta Lubinski have survived the horrors of Poland during World War II.  Edyta risked her life to relocate children and then hid Aron away in her attic.  After the War, Aron and Edyta don't feel comfortable in Poland and find their way to a Displaced Persons Camp where Edyta converts to Judaism and gives birth to twin girls, Bronka and Johanna.  Aron and Edyta find a way to the United States where they live with Aron's relatives, Izzy and Faye.  Once in America Aron delves deeper into his religion and attempts to forget about the horrors of his past, never talking about his story.  Dyta strives to be the best Jewish wife she can be while Johanna and Bronka find their place in American culture.  The girls grow up knowing they are Jewish, but without any knowledge of their parent's past.  As Communism stretches into their neighborhood, the family witnesses a Jewish neighbor being arrested for ties to Communism and Aron is immediately reminded of his time in Poland.  His fear transfers to his daughter Bronka who yearns for the full story while Johanna takes a more carefree approach to life.  When the truth of their parent's past comes through, Bronka and Johanna are shocked while Aron and Edyta must finally come forth with the secrets of their family. The Takeaway Men is an insightful and heartfelt look into the experiences of Jewish immigrants after World War II.  Aron and Dyta's experience was unique, although no less harrowing than many of their Jewish neighbors in New York.  It was interesting to see the different approaches to dealing with the trauma that each family experienced during the War from constantly telling everyone they meet their experiences, to trying to enact revenge, and trying to hide their experiences from everyone. The effects of Aron's fear and shame was apparent through Bronka's panic attacks and showed just how lasting trauma can be. It was really thought provoking to see the similarities drawn between the arrests for Communism in America and for being Jewish in Europe. The story was told from the third person point of view in order to incorporate everyone's very different experiences; however, through this lens, I didn't feel like I connected with anyone.  At the end, I was happy that the truth had come out, but I did wish that I could see the effects of this on the twins. This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 

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