Thanks to Noir Press for giving me a free copy of Shtetl Love Song for a honest review.
Grigory Kanovich’s autobiographical novel ‘Shtetl Love Song’ is based on real events from the life of the author’s family and the small town characters that peopled the world of his early years. It has been described as being a requiem for the pre-war Lithuanian Jewish shtetl.
In ‘Shtetl Love Song’ Grigory Kanovich writes about his mother, and in doing so peels back the surface of the rich community that lived in pre-war Lithuania. It is a requiem for the pre-war Jewish shtetl, for a people and a way of life that was destroyed.
Shtetl Love Song won the Liudo Dovydeno Prize awarded by the Lithuanian Writers’ Union.
Review: Shtetl Love Song is a not the kind of book I usually read. I usually stick to YA fantasy mostly, but when Noir Press asked me to read it, I was like ‘Sure…why not?’ And I don’t regret that decision.
For starters this book has a heavy emotional weight to it, as the author states: this is his final book and the book he’s been meaning to write his entire life. The story follows his young mother’s life and though the author is in the story, it is mainly focussed on his parents and their struggles.
It’s a biography which isn’t really the type of the book I’m used to. Lives don’t normally have action packed scenes and three-act structure. It makes it a much slower and easy-going read. Which given what I’m used to, I wasn’t expecting to work.
However, I was pleasantly surprised. It’s very engrossing read. There are definitely bits where it lulls and it’s clear that the author is trying to be as close to the truth of life as possible, but in book form it makes for a couple of dull chapters. But the rest of it was a pretty good evening read and I enjoyed reading about such a fascinating time and place, especially when you know these people and lives were real. It adds a lot to the reading experience.
Conclusion: This was a beautiful read, with an amass of well-rounded driven characters and easy plot that I think you should check out.
Buy the book!