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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Historical
  • Language:English
  • Pages:275
  • eBook ISBN:9780989752923

Samuel and Hava

by Barbara Blanchard

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Samuel, an unassuming holocaust survivor, lived most of his life plagued by vivid memories of lost love, stolen innocence, and a crushing reverse of fortune. After a fateful meeting with a carpenter, a kindred friendship begins. Together, they embark on an incredible journey as Samuel shares his tangled past, full of adventure, mystery, and surprising twists, when he and his girlfriend Hava, aided by a cast of unlikely heroes, plot against the enemy as they fight for survival in a war torn village. Strangers provide new identities, allowing the Jewish couple to pass as Catholics. Instead of sitting complacently by, Hava sews contemporary clothing for Jews in hiding, while Samuel provides maps that guide them to safety. He donates bread from the bakery, she earns money for the cause by selling cookies. A parallel story emerges as Hava discovers letters from the girl she is impersonating. Havoc rocks their world after soldiers issue a warrant for Samuel's arrest. Although Hava's house has been destroyed by the soldiers, she stays in Meara while Samuel returns to their village. On the way, he spots a train, carrying Jewish men with black hats and wide brims. When he spies the hats floating in the river, he becomes a warrior. Travelling to join the resistance movement, he discovers a baby. Convinced that God is allowing him to become a family man, he returns to Hava. She gives the child to a friend with the time to care for a baby. After Samuel flushes out a traitor who is sabotaging their operations, he joins forces with Jacob, a friend from his village, to fight against the invaders. Hava is being blackmailed and is forced to do things that no proper Jewish woman would ever consider. Samuel returns to he finds Hava, with another man. By the time he discovers the truth, their love has become another causality of the war. Samuel’s story unwittingly shines a light on the carpenter's mystifying past.
Mike Graham surfs through life, never particularly caring about his heritage, until he meets Samuel Feldzmann. After learning that Mike, a war baby, is adopted, Samuel shares a story that will alter both of their lives. As a teen, stepping into manhood, Samuel anticipates a peaceful life with a proper Jewish wife in the village of his ancestors until he is warned that a maniacal man, with an abdominal hatred for Jews, plans to invade Europe. His family thinks he should join his brother in New York. Samuel’s going away party is interrupted: his country is under siege. Instead of reporting to the railroad station, he and his girlfriend, Hava, disappear. An amazing story of survival, endurance, fierce love, and bitter betrayal begins. After being captured by a lifetime friend, they escape and flee to Meara. Surrounded by a community of caring people, they become Joe and Virginia, living amid the Catholics, while helping other Jews survive, until an act of betrayal forces Samuel into exile. When he sees the hats of Jewish men floating down the river, he becomes a warrior. In Meara, Hava dresses refugees, allowing them to blend in with their new surroundings, and she raises money for the cause. Letters from Virginia, the girl Hava pretends to be, offer her a brief reprieve from the war and a friend in America. Time and absence intensifies the love between Samuel and Hava. When he returns, she proposes. Samuel rejects the idea: the war is bigger than their needs. However, after he finds a baby, he returns, feeling God is allowing him to be a family man. The stinging words of his prior speech haunt Hava, and even though her heart is breaking, she gives the baby away, freeing him leave again. His life is filled with danger, adventure and victory, hers is calm and protected, until the ultimate betrayal shatters both her world and Samuel’s. A photojournalist from America comforts Hava, assisting her when she is most venerable. With the assistance of unsung heroes everywhere, their country is liberated, but will Hava and Samuel’s love simply become another casualty?
About the author
As a teen-ager, Barbara Blanchard eloped and has been on an adventuresome journey, going from coast to coast and back again. Her banking career didn’t last: students burned the branch down. When her kids were young, she stayed home, enjoying their childhood, while writing features for newspapers and magazines. As the kids earned degrees from Princeton, Cornell, Ithaca College and UCLA Law, Barbara sold real estate in Ithaca, NY. After battling phase four lymphoma, she wondered how a person could be healthy one month and facing death the next. The results of her research were shared in a book titled, From Pawns to Kings. Samuel and Hava is her debut novel. In addition to three children, Barbara has five grandchildren and still travels with her husband, Keith.
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