Best known for Dancing on Tisha BAv, the ground-breaking story
collection exploring the lives of children of Holocaust survivors,
Lev Raphael is also the author of five popular mysteries. Now
he combines his talents in a story of emotional suspense.
Paul has spent his life runningfrom New York, the city of his
birth; from his beautiful beshert; from contact with his
brother and sister; but mostly from his mother, a Holocaust survivor
of inexplicable coldness. Upon her death, the children face shocking
questions. What caused this healthy womans death? Why did
she divide their inheritance so that Paul, the least favorite
son, was singled out to receive the most, the dreaded German
money, a bequest of a million dollars accrued from German
reparations to survivors
a gift as cynical as it is generous.
What a gift for a writer to be able to
sustain unflagging, sweaty-palm suspense in a novel almost through
character alone. This is what the prodigious Lev Raphael pulls
off in The German
Money, a mystery whose shocking denouement is so organic
to the whole thing that it feels as if a boiling volcano has finally
let loose. Best known
for his fiction and nonfiction about Holocaust survivors' children,
Raphael has also written five witty mysteries. The
German Money combines his multiple talents with his understanding
of Holocaust survivors and their families to produce one of the
most powerful suspense novels in years, a kind of Kafka meets
Philip Roth meets le Carré
a beautifully modulated narrative.
Post Book World
If youre starving for
a powerful novel, buy Lev Raphaels latest book, The
German Money, a potent, contemporary story about the complicated
lives of three Jewish siblings, descendants of a mother who survived
the death factories of the Holocaust, and had a closely guarded
a terrible secret, the kind that tears lives apart. Raphael carefully
escorts his readers into the sad, touching lives of the siblings,
then expertly guides us among the powerful scenes.
--The Fort Worth Star-Sentinel
applies his talents as a suspense writer to this unconventional
Holocaust novel . . . The sharpness of the family portrait and
the appeal of the romantic subplot make this an engaging read.
heartfelt story of rediscovered romance.
--The Denver Post
is a very intimate book. Bright and creative. Unexpected and significant.
For a man who has spent his life refusing to accept that the Holocaust
has anything to do with him, inheriting these funds feels like
anything but a blessing. Eventually the truth reveals itself in
a shocking conclusion. Having recognized that truth, I was wrapped
up in Pauls journey and found it quite compelling.
--Jewish Book World
book to recommend to book groups this month is a new novel called
The German Money. I agree
with Kafka when he says, A book must be the ax for the frozen
sea within us, especially when it comes to book club reading.
If you don't find your world rocked and your assumptions
challenged, then what will there be to discuss? This is an intense
novel that insists its reader fall into a world filled with secrets
and silences, the world, in fact, of many children of Holocaust
survivors. Readers will know what it is to be an angry
and embittered young Jewish man who has spent the better part
of his life running from something that happened over fifty years
ago, to a completely different person.
The German Money
wields a sharp axe at a vast frozen sea, indeed.
WHQR 91.3 FM, North Carolina Public Radio
"Lev Raphael delivers the goods
in a thriller with a wicked twist.
It is a fast, engaging
read, with glints of insight, and a deeper,
twisting message about the ambiguities of history and
The Jerusalem Post
inventive mixture of Second Generation family and mystery tales.....Raphael
has a fine ear for the diction and accents of New York
and of refugee life especially, and he has a writer's mordant eye for revealing his main
character's inner life ."
novel is a finely executed quest, a voyage of discovery, and at
last a hopeful tribute to the ability of the damaged human heart
the whole review.
Hartov, The Detroit Jewish News
"Lev Raphael is a daring writerone who will not be restrained
by genre, but who tells his story with all the tools at his command.
The German Money combines all of Raphael's estimable talents,
delivering an emotional thriller about a totally believable contemporary
family coming to terms with fifty years of silence."
Author of A Boy's Own Story
"Lev Raphael's new novel is a powerful, haunting and erotic
tale. The stunning narrative builds to a shocking denouement and
kept me turning pages faster and faster to learn the truth."
Author of The Bone Vault
Raphael writes of love,
redemption, and revenge with an unflinching honesty that is rare
and beautiful. This is an exquisite portrayal of a troubled family,
of three siblings each affected
differently, but painfully,
by their mother's past. A poignant reminder that we cannot hide
from history no matter how fast and far we run, The
German Money is a true and powerful triumph.
Author of Hester Among the Ruins
And this from From DorothyL:
The Mystery Readers and Writers ListServ:
think I can add much to the Washington Post review of Lev Raphael's
The German Money. It
is an outstanding book and deserves all the praise it has been
receiving. Some DorothyLers
may not pick this book up since it isn't classified as a mystery,
but it contains the elements of the greatest mysteries of all...the
human heart and psyche. Paul, has been almost estranged from his
family for years. He
and the fact that he prefers Michigan
is baffling to them. His
two siblings have learned to cope in their own way with the bluster
of their father and the seeming coldness of their mother, a Holocaust
survivor. When Paul
returns, shortly after his mother's death, he is astonished to
learn that he inherits "the German money", restitution
paid to Holocaust victims. He can not
understand the motive
for this since his mother never touched the money even though
it was invested and grew to a tidy sum and certainly never showed
him any love or affection. Haunting and unforgettable, The German
Money is even better than I expected from Lev, and having read
his novel, short stories and Journeys & Arrivals, I did expect
--Doris Ann Noirris, Librarian
Lev Raphael is the author of seventeen books published in a dozen languages. Winner of the Lambda Literary Award, among many prizes, his short works have appeared in numerous anthologies, including the star-packed WHO WE ARE: ON BEING (AND NOT BEING) A JEWISH AMERICAN AUTHOR (Schocken/Random House). The author of a popular mystery series, he performs all over the country and hosts a weekly book show on NPR. In January, 2006, Leapfrog Press will be bring out Secret Anniversaries of the Heart, a collection of twenty five years of stories by the writer who redefined American Jewish identity for an entire generation. Read a lot more about Lev and all his books on his
Lev Raphael On NPR - Hear the interview!
Lev Raphael Answers Some Questions
The German Money
Reading Guide Questions
$14.95 Paperback Original
208 Pages / 6 x 9