“Hope Reborn” by accomplished author Michelle Mazel is the sequel to the first of her books featuring the World War Two exploits of Hungarian Jewish émigré Julius Matthias, “A Pact with the Devil”. Despite this being a sequel, Mazel gets down to the storyline refreshingly quickly, with quick-fire recouping of past events seamlessly woven into the new story.
As before, this latest offering is a deeply detailed understanding of a world long gone. Both the historic aspects and the social mores of a bygone era are related with gusto and respect for standards of the era. There are detail-rich descriptions and Michelle Mazel gives proof of an encyclopaedic knowledge about the subject which she relates with effortless flair and zest.
She skilfully weaves the intricate details of personal tragedies – and triumphs – into the tapestry of a global conflict set against the background of overarching political and military events.
“Hope Reborn” is not just about WW2, It’s also about scourges that still afflict society to this very day – personal animosities, national conflicts, anti-Semitism, entrenched elitism. All bound up in a cracking story that makes this book a page-turner. You don’t read it as a current-affairs social commentary but as an exciting story of past events told in vivid colour. Nonetheless, a reader with an ear keenly attuned to the world of today cannot help relating the story’s underlying personal and historical struggles to events and trends currently being played out on television screens every evening.
Michelle Mazel has an uncanny ability to keep interest alive with plenty of little side-stories and flashbacks all feeding into the main story to keep interest bubbling from page one to the very end.
A highly worthwhile read.
I’d give it a 5-star rating.
Review by: Ilya Meyer