The List
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The List

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3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  856 ratings  ·  143 reviews
Martin Fletcher has captivated television audiences for thirty-five years as a foreign correspondent for NBC News. Now, Fletcher combines his own family’s history with meticulous research in this gripping story of a young Jewish family struggling to stay afloat after World War II.



London, October 1945. Austrian refugees Georg and Edith await the birth of their first child....more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published 2011)
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Susan
I might have even rated this with another half of a star!

Martin Fletcher's focus here is on Austrian refugees Georg and his pregnant wife Edith in London in 1945. While struggling to rebuild their lives and hoping to learn of other family members who may have survived the Holocaust, they face blatant anti-semitism from Englishmen, many of whom would like to eject the immigrant Jews in favor of returning British servicemen in need of homes and jobs. Other characters of note are Edith's cousin An...more
Patricia O'Sullivan
This novel sounded so intriguing in the blurb, but it was such a disappointment to read. There are two story lines. First there are Georg and Edith, Austrian refugees living in London and expecting their first child. The other story line doesn't focus on one person, but several Jewish operatives in Palestine trying to harass the British into allowing more Jews into the territory while also taking revenge for comrades lost to the cause. These two story lines don't come together until the last qua...more
Edi
Some completely different perspectives on post-WW-II England. It also spoke to the desires of many former Poles, Hungarians, Italians, Austrians and Germans who discovered their Jewish identity was paramount in being marked for life or death. There is no home to return to. This is the most wrenching account of the moral dilemmas involving so many in the formation of post-war Europe, especially Jews who want to immigrate now to Palestine and form a new Jewish nation in the ancient land of Canaan....more
Sondra Wolferman
I disagree with those reviewers who think this novel is poorly written. While the style is rather dry and journalistic in places, I think the style is well-suited to the subject matter which, according to the author himself, is a fictionalized account of his own parents' struggle to survive and then rebuild their lives as refugees in London following the holocaust. The author skillfully weaves together two story lines which gradually converge, adding an element of suspense to the novel. The two...more
Anmiryam
Anti-semitism, overt, blatant and frightening, did not die when the death camps were liberated towards the end of World War II. Yet, so often, mass market fiction closes the curtain with the arrival of liberating troops and the end of the war. "The List", Martin Fletcher's first novel, bravely attempts to fill this void. Here is the tale of some of the lucky ones, who either escaped to Britain just before the outbreak of the war, or who survived the camps and are regrouping in London. The story...more
Sherry
The List is a novel based on a true story about a young, Jewish Austrian couple fortunate to become refugees in London while most of their friends and family perished in the holocaust. Simultaneously the book brings in the early tactics of the Stern gang to take out Bevin during the Mandate of Palestine. While I was well aware of the period of the Mandate, I was not aware of how the refugees struggled for acceptance in England. Still, the Brits came through and the refugees remained to become Br...more
Scott Jeffe
In the 1990's I lived with Fletcher's parents as a student in London and this is their story - Austrian jewish immigrants struggling to fit in and make a life in wartime London. London neither fully rejected or embraced the Jews that arrived in the 1930's but some people (like Edith Fleischer/Fletcher) never stopped trying to be a good neighbor, a good citizen, or a good Jew (all at the same time). The book is set in the boarding house that became their home -- and the home I lived in. I almost...more
Mal Warwick
One of the lessons I learned very early in my three-decade-long career writing fundraising appeals was that statistics numb the brain while a gripping tale of one individual can unlock torrents of emotion in the reader. So it was no surprise to me that the story of one young refugee Jewish family in London in 1945 could bring home the chilling reality of the Holocaust more powerfully than any recitation of the numbers of Hitler’s victims could ever possibly do.

In The List, Martin Fletcher, an NB...more
Kristina Godfrey
What I liked about this book is its WWII parallels to the current immigration issues the U.S. is facing. In "The List" some Londoners are not happy about Jewish refugees who settled in London. Because of the heavy bombing by the Nazis, there's a housing shortage and people think the way to solve it is to send refugees home. OK, it's cold-hearted, and frankly nuts to think this way. It was hard to read through this part of the book. The refugees are ill, and trying to find their family members. T...more
Marleah
This was a quick read focusing on the anti-Semitism that still pervaded many countries even after WWII ended. Most of the action here takes place in London, where Edith and Georg, both Jewish, struggle to make ends meet and to escape the prejudices against them -- as well as prepare for the baby that will soon arrive. There is a subplot in Palestine, focusing on the Jews there and their efforts to assassinate high-ranking British officials that eventually reaches Georg. Also featuring in the sto...more
Eric Hammel
I too am the son of a Holocaust survivor. My father, who made it to the U.S., didn't have to face nearly the overt anti-Semitic backlash Martin Fletcher's parents did, but he was never able to divorce himself from the continuum of insane hatred he faced in Germany or subtler but no-less-damaging forms he faced his life here. Whatever he felt about not being accepted as fully human in some circles was transmitted to me as I grew up and faced some of it in my own right. The List brought it all bac...more
Diane S.
A wonderfully written book about a little known incident between Palestine and England. Alternately sad as Edith and Georg who are living in England attempt to find family members who have lived through the Holocaust, crossing names off a list as they find most of their families are dead, and yet hopeful at times. A pregnant Edith is reunited with her cousin and learns that her papi survived the war and it is this thought that sustains her. What I didn't know is how much prejudice the survivors...more
Carole Roman
This book felt almost as if it were two separate books. Fletcher captures the horror of a young couple isolated from their families during the war, waiting for news of survivors. Their harrowing wait is compounded by the mounting realization that the unthinkable has happened. When Fetcher writes George and Ediths's story, he does it with loving detail, stripping away everything but the hopelessness of their lives, the anticipation for the other shoe to drop, as one by one names are eliminated fr...more
Emily Goenner
A strong 3.5, 3.75 maybe but not quite a four. Its got a little long, but I've never read an account of Jewish life immediately following WWII that so touchingly explored the relief at being alive and the grief of learning the fate of family members.
Kathy Matts
I found this book at the dollar store and decided to buy it - who can't resist a book for a buck?!
Of course the synopsis on the jacket was interesting, too.

Although written as historical fiction, it describe events that I previously had no or little knowledge of - the assassination plot on England's Prime Minister Bevin, post-war persecution of the Jews, petitions to repatriate refugees to Germany, and searching for lost family members.

Georg and Edith's story brings the above events to a person...more
Sue
book set in immediate post WW II London. Heard author speak and found out all events referenced in his work of fiction actually took place. Main couple in book loosely based on author's parents. Good read.
Gini
I really enjoyed this book about the Jews in London and Palestine after WWII. It's not a time/subject that we read much about.
Meg
I enjoyed reading this novel and was interested by the story of what happened to Jews who escaped Europe for Britain. Often when we hear stories about the Holocaust, we feel the danger is over once someone has escaped an occupied country; this story tells about the anti-semitism and xenophobia many Jews experienced even in "safe" countries. The book was impeccably researched; the details brought everyday experiences to life (e.g. naming the different tinned foods the characters were cooking with...more
Cheryl A
A thoughtful, well written book on the hopes and sorrows following the end of WWII. The novel follows Edith & Georg, Austrian refugees who were lucky enough to have escaped to England in 1939. As the war ends, Edith & Georg are caught between moving on with their lives, eagerly awaiting the birth of their first child, and a state of limbo, as they seek information about family members in Europe.

The novel explores the fear and anxiety of both the refugees and native Londoners as the world...more
Katie
An interesting book that is told during post-WWII and the Holocaust. The main characters, Edith and Georg, are struggling Jewish refugees in England who are trying to find lost relatives, while attempting to solidify their future. After countless rejections because of their Jewish faith, they find that, despite the end of the war and Hitler’s defeat, discrimination continues in England. Yet, there is a glimmer of hope in Palestine, who is fighting the British for total control of their country i...more
Simone
There are 2 storylines in this book that intertwine in various ways.

One starts on V.E. day and is the story of a young Jewish couple living in London. They are awaiting the birth of their first baby while trying to uncover the fate of their relatives. Just about everyone died in the camps, except for maybe her father… the search begins…

The second is about a group of Jewish terrorists in Palestine. Try as I might, I just could not get into this plot, I was just not interested. (I kept expecting G...more
Nancy
This is a very sad book, rather like watching a black and white movie with just a glimmer of brightness at the end. The scenes, the characters, all of it, appeared to me in gray tones as the narrator described the lives of Jewish refugees who had escaped to England just as Hitler’s army marched across Europe, trapping their families and condemning most of them torture and death. The novel began immediately after WWII ended, with flashbacks to fill in the back stories of its characters. It contin...more
Linda C
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Susan
I enjoyed this book for a number of reasons. One, I didn't know much about the UK immediately following WWII. I hadn't realized there were so many Jewish refugees, but it makes sense. Martin Fletcher does a great job recreating that era. He also brought the reader into the lives of the refugees who were trying to sort out who in their family was still alive. I thought that was one of the strongest parts of the book. I also didn't know about the Jewish Palestinian terrorists, so that was an eye-o...more
Bill
This book filled in the gaps between the war and the creation of Isreal.
We need to be reminded of the horrors of war and especially those heaped on the jews during WWII
I was particularily stunned by this excerpt from the book: (page 143 of the paper back that I read)

There was not a soul in the room, or among all their friends in London, who had not been robbed of everything essential: family, home, wealth, future, their very reasons to exist. That was then, but they were discovering that now was...more
Lee
This book events in London and Palestine in the years directly following World War II, The List follows the lives of Edith and Georg, Austrian refugees who are expecting their first baby in a world unfriendly to Jews. Anti-Semitism sweeps across London and Europe during this time. It is very difficult as the Jewish people who at first were welcomed into England are now not wanted and are seeking a home somewhere. They cannot go "home" to where they grew up but they cannot go to Palestine either...more
Ginny
I loved this book almost as much as I did Jacob's Oath, which was incredible. This is a truth-based story of a Jewish couple from Austria who survived the Holocaust and were sent to live in England. I was shocked to learn of the biases they faced while living there. I felt emotionally connected to this couple who lost their families to the Nazis.
Kristen Balas
This is someone else's review; I just like it:

Some completely different perspectives on post-WW-II England. It also spoke to the desires of many former Poles, Hungarians, Italians, Austrians and Germans who discovered their Jewish identity was paramount in being marked for life or death. There is no home to return to. This is the most wrenching account of the moral dilemmas involving so many in the formation of post-war Europe, especially Jews who want to immigrate now to Palestine and form a ne...more
Sharon
I usually don't read the same author back-to-back - and I should not have done so in this case.

I liked his first book very much and decided to read this right afterwards but was too much of a good thing. I did not connect with the characters in this book as much, and in general, was just not as interested in their stories.

The book was interesting - again it took place in Germany just after the war ended. However, I could only give it three stars.
Lori
I loved this story of a young Jewish couple expecting their first baby in post WWII England. I felt their heartbreak as they learned the fate of loved ones, crossing those names off their list as they learned of death, or holding onto the hope of survival. The pain of not knowing whether their loved ones lived or died is at times, palpable. Amidst this, we see their struggle with anti-Semitism in London and all the ugliness that brought out in people. Intertwined with this story is the story of...more
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MARTIN FLETCHER, Special Correspondent, NBC News and PBS, has won five Emmies, a Columbia University Dupont award, and many more broadcasting awards. He has written two non-fiction books, one of which won the National Jewish Book Award, and two novels. He is currently writing his third novel, splitting his time between London, Tel Aviv and New York.
More about Martin Fletcher...
Jacob's Oath Walking Israel: A Personal Search for the Soul of a Nation Breaking News: A Stunning and Memorable Account of Reporting from Some of the Most Dangerous Places in the World Jacob's Oath: A Novel Almost Heaven: Travels Through the Backwoods of America

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