Thursday, May 17, 2012

Dawn - Elie Wiesel

Summary from B&N:  Elisha is a young Jewish man, a Holocaust survivor, and an Israeli freedom fighter in British-controlled Palestine; John Dawson is the captured English officer he will murder at dawn in retribution for the British execution of a fellow freedom fighter. The night-long wait for morning and death provides Dawn, Elie Wiesel’s ever more timely novel, with its harrowingly taut, hour-by-hour narrative. Caught between the manifold horrors of the past and the troubling dilemmas of the present, Elisha wrestles with guilt, ghosts, and ultimately God as he waits for the appointed hour and his act of assassination. Dawn is an eloquent meditation on the compromises, justifications, and sacrifices that human beings make when they murder other human beings.

I jumped into this novel without really understanding what it was.  Each year, I read Night by Elie Wiesel with my eighth grade students in conjunction with them studying the Holocaust in social studies.  So when this year I ran across something that said Night was the first book in a trilogy consisting also of Dawn and Day I assumed it was a continuation of the author’s life story that began in Night

I was wrong.  Guess I shouldn’t assume things.  J

Dawn is a fictional story of a young Holocaust survivor who has joined the resistance movement in Palestine.  And it is a story that needs to be read slowly…and even then I’m not sure I took the time to truly reflect on the different nuances and challenges.  I have a feeling I’ll be chewing on the tale for days to come.

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