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The List

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  1,537 Ratings  ·  188 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
Hardcover, 338 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Thomas Dunne Books
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Scott Jeffe
Jun 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Sondra Wolferman
Aug 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Patricia O'Sullivan
Apr 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Feb 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 18, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Jan 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Diane S ☔
Nov 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Eric Hammel
Feb 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Mal Warwick
Jan 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: trade-fiction
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
Kristina Godfrey
Jul 05, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Jan 30, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Julia Alberino
Apr 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is so much more than a standard post-Holocaust novel. Set in London in 1945, written by an NBC correspondent who drew on his family's and to a lesser extent his own experience in constructing the plot, "The List" presents a memorable cast of characters, some of them survivors, some who escaped to London before the worst atrocities, and some native Londoners. Through these characters, the reader gains insight into and knowledge about the world of displaced persons, the Israeli undergrou ...more
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
In the months immediately following World War II, a Jewish refugee couple in London waits for news about their lists of missing family members. Their wait is soon filled with enough action and emotion for several lifetimes. As one refugee remarks in the novel "Every survivor has an extraordinary story. Otherwise, they'd be dead." Fletcher does justice to that notion in this page-turner of a novel. Skip "Sarah's Key" and "22 Britannia Road" and go directly to "The List."
Erika Dreifus
Nov 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Please see my review for The Jewish Journal (review is based on complimentary review copy).
Emily Goenner
Jul 05, 2012 rated it liked it
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.
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Nov 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Ted Leary
Nov 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was completely swept away by the character's plight and dilemma. I cried, I laughed, and was surprised at every turn. I wholeheartedly recommend it.
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Summer Reading Challenge Book #7 - Unshelve It - Read a book that's been sitting on your Goodreads shelves for a while.

This was the 3rd book that I added to Goodreads, 6 years ago.

This was a lovely written book about the immediate post-WWII period in Britain told from the perspective of a Jewish refugee couple. The "list" the title refers to is the list of their relatives' names that they cross off one-by-one as they learn of their fates from the Holocaust. I think most of our cultural exposure
Pam Masters
This book was an eye opener for me. I will admit I never really realized the struggles the refuges faced after World War 2.

I feel the struggles that Georg and Edith (along with their friends) deal with could be changed to any minority in history and still be true. This book is one I will recommend to people quite a bit.
Hollie Nelson
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I chose this book as it was based on life post-WWII and it was fascinating. I am sure there were many other facets to life after WWII than were presented in this work, but still this book was very good!
Mary Jo
Nov 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting historical fiction about the end of WWII as things happened in England and Palestine. The spare prose suited the sober storyline.
Ray Higgins
May 13, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a side of the holocaust story that I had never considered- the prejudice of Jewish refugees who escaped and were living in London after WWII. It was an interesting read.
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very well written story of ww2 Jewish refugees in London. Book chosen as one book one Jewish Community book of the year.
Jun 14, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed his later novel Jacob's Oath a bit more but this one is still pretty good.
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
read few yrs ago....very gd
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The reader will either really like the book or die of boredom.
May 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
I am in the camp of poorly written.
Mar 11, 2017 rated it liked it
The story line was good and the history behind it was interesting but the style of writing was a bit dry and the story dragged on and on with nothing happening until the end. It was ok but a bit disappointing.
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MARTIN FLETCHER is one of the most respected television news correspondents in the world and he is also rapidly gaining an equally impressive reputation as a writer. He has won many awards, including five Emmys, a Columbia University DuPont Award, several Overseas Press Club Awards, and the National Jewish Book Award. Fletcher and his wife, Hagar, have raised three sons. He spent many years as the ...more
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“But you know, everybody who survived has an extraordinary story. Otherwise, he'd be dead.” 7 likes
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