When Russian tanks roll into the public squares of Budapest to crush the Hungarian Revolution, brothers Robert and Attila Beck flee with their family to the Paris townhouse of their great-aunt Hermina. The year is 1956, and as their country changes forever, these two boys transform as well, confronting danger and wonders previously unknown.
As they travel through minefields both real and imagined, Robert and Attila grapple with sibling rivalry, family secrets, and incalculable loss. Along the way they encounter mysterious fellow travelers, bewildering sights of a nation in transition, and surprising hilarity, all in pursuit of the one place they thought they'd lost forever: home.
Elegant, tender, and deeply funny, Joseph Kertes has crafted a journey filled with adventure and heartbreak. A meditation on both family and displacement, The Afterlife of Stars is a tale of perseverance, faith, and the unbreakable bond of brotherhood.
"Kertes, who himself escaped Hungary after the 1956 revolution, delivers a fast paced and taut narrative that captures how inscrutable the world's cruelties can be to the children who witness them. Stirring and haunting, The Afterlife of Stars memorably shows how the bonds of brotherhood stay strong in a crisis." (Bridget Thoreson, Booklist)
"[A] fervent novel. Kertes (Gratitude, 2009), winner of the National Jewish Book Award, begins his newest work in his own native Budapest.... [Protagonists] Robert and Attila are a winning pair of guides.... Kertes' voice is a lyrical one, and his work is frequently moving." (Kirkus Reviews)
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Aftermath of 1956
- Dr. Marlena Corcoran
Good story throughout.