I am not sure that any review I write can do this book justice. I listened to the NPR review and it was explained that the author had spent decades studying the psychological effects of the Holocaust on survivors. This necessitated the interviewing of many people and one person told her not to forget the Polish town of Bedzin. She didn't and in this novel manages to bring the whole town alive.
The main character is a woman named Tsippy Silberberg and she finds out that a distant aunt has left her a strange inheritance. This starts the story in motion and when she goes to collect it in person she is confronted by a few strange occurrences, one of course being the mysterious Mrs. Kugelman. She insists on telling Tsippyr stories of the past, from her town and it is in this way that we meet the people of Bedzin.
This was a new slant on the Holocaust story, the author really brings these people alive. Of course, we know what is going to happen soon, but when these people are young they are just living their lives. Tsippy finds out things about herself and her family from Mrs. Kugelman and from this looks back at her past with her father and finally begins to understand. Tsippy herself has one strange obsession and it is managed with humor and pathos. This is a first novel and I just loved it. Loved the way the story is told and the fact that it has such a deeper meaning.