Gratitude: A Novel
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Gratitude: A Novel

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  125 ratings  ·  18 reviews
March 1944: War’s darkest period descends upon Hungary’s Jews. By the time it ends in January 1945, over half a million Jews will have been murdered. Gratitude tells the story of that period, through the eyes of the wealthy Beck family, whose lives and loves are saved and lost. At the center of it all is Paul Beck, a young lawyer whose chance meeting with a visiting Swede,...more
Hardcover, 512 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published March 30th 2008)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Gratitude, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Gratitude

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 919)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Promise squandered can get one's back up; your expectations are dashed, so you lash out. Hence the two stars here. Yes, I'm a spiteful codger.

Joseph Kertes' story about Hungarian Jews during World War II certainly has much to recommended it (and I seem to be in the minority in my disappointment), but the author's attempts to enrich this apparently fact-based tale of his family with background and character-building provoked in me irritation that he wouldn't just get on with it.

"Gratitude" opens...more
If you are interested in the story of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg's efforts to save Hungarian Jews during WWII by issuing them Swedish citizenship papers and putting them in safe houses, you should read this book. By itself, that is a fascinating tale. If you are interested in Hungary, you should also read it. But, while it was definitely readable, I was not impressed with the writing. Kertes puts long philosophical treatises in the mouths of characters at the most unlikely times. And, whi...more
I just couldn't get into this story even though the subject matter is one that I love to read and learn about in novels
Fantastic read. Can't wait for the follow-up.
A moving story that sets WWII in a place and perspective we don't often see with some of the most memorable lines I have ever read. I am lucky enough to have interviewed the author after reading it. The thing I love about hearing a writer describe their own characters is how it sounds like they're talking about real, 3-dimentional friends and family members. I think a gifted author brings their characters to life and knows them intimately. Finishing a book must be like saying goodbye to an old f...more
Sean Bailey
Gratitude isn’t your typical America comes to save the day kind of book. It takes place in Hungary, mainly in Budapest, and follows a family of Hungarian Jews who, along with the rest of their country have gone relatively unscathed from the war that’s been going on around them throughout Europe. Eventually though, Hitler and his ever expanding empire begins to take over and life as they knew it was turned upside down.

My full review:
Shar Wallis
I enjoyed this book that is mainly about Hungarian Jews during WWII and the holocaust. It is fiction, but had a lot of history in it too. The characters were believable, but there were some scenes and dialogue that didn't seem necessary for the flow of the book. Still, it was interesting, and I'd recommend it.
I wanted to keep reading, because the opening chapter was very good. However, the dialogue was awful, and so stilted I almost felt they were speaking in non sequiturs. Even though the descriptive passage and internal monologues were excellent, I could invest time in 512 pages of people speaking like idiots.
Why another Holocaust novel? I've read a few, but this one, set in Hungary, kept me turning the pages and hoping for a mini-series. The storytelling is occasionally perfunctory, but Kertes creates beautifully rounded characters who pull you into their vanished world.
Lynora Saxinger
Engaged from the start, a very human story of people surviving and trying to make sense of the unfathomable chaos of violence and war. Well drawn characters, very memorable scenes...ultimately both inspiring and tragic.
I read this in Hungary. The gripping story of Hungary's Jewish community was all the more moving when we could actually visit the landmarks in Budapest, Auschwitz.
Only four stars because it was a bit too long. But it's a harrowing glimpse of 1940s Hungary and what two families did to survive. Heartbreaking.
It was a good story. I appreciated learning about Hungary during WW2. The writing was on the awkward side and I found myself distracted by it.
Aug 31, 2009 Diane rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Diane by: Rachel
I should have updated this earlier.
I was really pulled into this book.
Well done.
Amy Hustead
Started out great, but dragged on a bit too long. Overall I would recommend.
Jul 07, 2012 Livros is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
A ler em português.
Elijah Kinch Spector
Nov 20, 2009 Elijah Kinch Spector marked it as to-read
Free Book Day!
Kelly Maza
Kelly Maza marked it as to-read
Aug 25, 2014
Casey marked it as to-read
Aug 25, 2014
Hannah Bergquist
Hannah Bergquist marked it as to-read
Aug 24, 2014
Judy marked it as to-read
Aug 22, 2014
Melissa marked it as to-read
Aug 19, 2014
Peter added it
Aug 15, 2014
Sarah marked it as to-read
Aug 13, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30 31 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Girls of Room 28: Friendship, Hope, and Survival in Theresienstadt
  • Red Inferno: 1945
  • Your Sad Eyes And Unforgettable Mouth
  • Transgression: A Novel of Love and War
  • Knights of the Cross
  • Nine Suitcases: A Memoir
  • The Arms Maker of Berlin
  • Devil's Dream: A Novel About Nathan Bedford Forrest
  • The Warsaw Anagrams
  • A Thousand Suns
  • Hitler's Panzers: The Lightning Attacks that Revolutionized Warfare
  • The Street Philosopher
  • The Story of a Life
  • The Kommandant's Mistress
  • The Marrowbone Marble Company
  • Sophie Scholl and the White Rose
  • Beside a Burning Sea
  • Leap into Darkness: Seven Years on the Run in Wartime Europe
The Afterlife of Stars The Gift WINTER TULIPS Boardwalk Red Corduroy Shirt

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »