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The Takeaway Men

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  294 ratings  ·  105 reviews
With the cloud of the Holocaust still looming over them, twin sisters Bronka and Johanna Lubinski and their parents arrive in the US from a Displaced Persons Camp. In the years after World War II, they experience the difficulties of adjusting to American culture as well as the burgeoning fear of the Cold War. Years later, the discovery of a former Nazi hiding in their comm ...more
Published August 4th 2020
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Aug 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Bronka and Johanna are twin sisters who have arrived in the US from a Displaced Persons Camp after the Holocaust.

The adjustment to the US is hard for the family because of the fear of the Cold War and all the cultural differences.

Several years later, a former Nazi is found to be hiding in their local community, and it brings back all their fears.

The Takeaway Men is a story of immigration and the prejudice that often comes along with it. It’s also a story of secrets and family.

Overall, I was impr
Karren  Sandercock
The Lubinski family decides to have a fresh start and escape the dark cloud the Holocaust still has over them, they leave the displaced person camp in Germany and immigrate to America.

Waiting for their ship to dock in New York are Aron’s cousin Izzy and his wife Faye; and they take Aron, Judy, Johanna and Bronka to their home in Belle-rose where they have set up two rooms for the family to live. America is a lot for the Lubinski’s to take in, it’s big, it’s noisy, very busy and very modern.
Aug 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you Iread Book Tours for a complimentary copy. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

The Takeaway Men
By: Meryl Ain


Being Jewish in Poland during the WWII era spelled almost certain death. Many survivors chose to leave everything behind for a fresh start in the United States. Aron and Edyta, with twin daughters Bronka and Johanna, were one such couple, landing ultimately in Queens.

The Takeaway Men by Meryl Ain presents a fresh perspective of life
Apr 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
2 sisters
2 decades
2 continents

The story began in Kielce, Poland August of 1942 where Edita smuggles Jewish children out of the Ghetto and hides Jewish adults in their attic unbeknownst to her father, a Polish policemen who supported the Nazis against the Jews.

The story revolves around twin sisters Johanna and Bronka who immigrated to the states from Poland in 1951 to Bellerose, New York.

This Historical Fiction writing by Ain was easy to read, well researched and followed the story of this fami
Jan 08, 2021 rated it liked it
Not many HF novels deal with the immediate aftermath of WW2, especially for immigrants, so I was immediately intrigued by this book!

The Lubinski family arrive in the US from a Polish displace persons’ camp, each carrying their own scars. Aaron grapples with the loss of his entire family to the Nazi death camps. Judy, his wife, has a secret of her own she has not told anyone about. And whilst the twins Bronka and Johanna were born after the war, they are scarred by their father’s dark moods and
Valerie Taylor
Aug 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There is much to take away with The Takeaway Men

In The Takeaway Men (Sparks Press), Meryl Ain sheds much-needed light on a topic rarely explored. What happened to the families that survived the Holocaust?

This story is about one such family—the Lubinskis.

Mostly through the eyes of twin sisters, Bronka and Johanna, and through the actions of their parents Judy and Aron, we witness this family’s struggle to acclimate to a post-WWII world. In 1951, they arrive by ship in New York Harbor from a Displ
Jul 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jewish
A poignant family story of survival and new starts, love and forgiveness.

The Lubinski family – Aron, Judy, and twin daughter JoJo and Bronka seem to be adapting well to their new home in America, but both parents are hiding secrets. Their daughters have no knowledge of the atrocities their parents endured in war-torn Poland. They know nothing of the difficult decision their parents made to leave a displaced persons camp in Germany to start a new life in New York City.

The book has an interesting
Angel Martin
Aug 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-tours, 2020
This book was the perfect mix of informative and entertaining. Before picking this book up, I thought I knew nearly all there was to know about the Holocaust. This taught me things I didn't even think were possible, and I also learned a lot about the Jewish traditions.

The fictional aspect helped keep me interested in the story, but there were still a few parts that felt slow to me. Even with some of the explanations of some parts of the Jewish culture, I was still confused at certain points, but
Sep 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
A smooth and insightful historical fiction novel about a family adjusting to American culture after being victims to the horrors of the Holocaust and keeping it a secret from their daughters in an attempt to protect and move on from their past.

As I reflect on the overall novel, I really appreciated how readers were able to see each family members inner battles and thoughts on fitting into the American culture and the history of the Jews. We read perspectives from children to growing up as teena
Apr 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Takeaway Men by Meryl Ain is an excellent historical fiction that encompasses several themes. This is a story of trauma, horror, heartbreak, resilience, loss, love, second changes, secrets, and forgiveness.

Through this book, we read not only of just one family's experience during the Shoah, but of many families and individuals experiences. We learn of events that occurred in Europe, in America, and also learn of their lives that continue on post-war.

The novel starts with one family's exper
BreeAnn (She Just Loves Books)
What I Loved:
I read a lot of historical fiction, and a significant amount of those books revolves around WWII, so I’m always excited when I find a book that provides a new perspective on the war. The Takeaway Men was a beautiful, emotional journey into the lives of holocaust survivors as they immigrate to America. We experience their joys and sorrows as they try to navigate a new world, and it is a beautiful story.

How I Felt:
The Lubinski family has experienced so many horrors at the hands of the
Jul 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Although 'The Takeaway Men' is fiction, much of the events and circumstances are factual.
This is a story of a Jew and A Gentile and the horrific nightmare of circumstances they endured in Poland during World War ll and in the aftermath.

Needing to escape the memories and ongoing hostilities, they were able to Immigrate to America. There the Jewish man, Aron, had a cousin who took them in and gave them a home, a job, and a new family. Just before beginning their new life, the Gentile, Edyta, gave
Sue Seligman
Aug 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Aron and Judy Lubinski and their twin daughters, Johanna and Bronka, leave a German Displaced Person’s Camp and move to Queens, New York in order to begin a new life. Aron’s cousin Izzy and his wife Faye, make room in their home for the family, and their new life is about to begin. The little girls adjust easily to their new environment, but Aron is still plagued by the nightmares of his experiences in the Holocaust and the loss of his immediate family members. Judy appears to be hiding some sec ...more
Elise Schiller
Feb 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is the story of what happens after the war to immigrants from Poland who bring with them harrowing memories and survivors' guilt. Father, Mother, and twin girls leave Europe and arrive in New York and settle in with cousins in Queens. The Queens setting of the early 50s was very well done--the homes, the neighborhood, the stores--and the insular nature of it all.

While the men in the story are busy building businesses and trying to make their idea of the American dream come true, most of th
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Takeaway Men is a fresh take on the impact of the Holocaust on survivors and their children. I especially enjoyed the focus on the twins, Bronka and JoJo, as they grow up in in post WW II Queens, NY. Their neighborhood looks idyllic, but there are always troubles lurking for them and their "baby boomer" friends. These fears, which include the threat of nuclear war and The Red Scare, are exemplified by the apt title of the book, The Takeaway Men, which the author explains is the metaphor for ...more
For the Lubinski's arriving in the USA was a fresh and new start. A time to put the past behind them, as well as try to forget. I haven't read a book like this one in a while. For Aron and Dyta (Judy) along with twin daughters crossing the ocean is the perfect opportunity. As the girls get older they learn about the Holocaust, witness things and begin to question their parents. I love the cover and feel it reflects twins with different personalities and looks.

The author definitely researched a l
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I’ve read a lot of historical fiction that covered WWII but nothing like this book. I loved that Ain actually took us through life after the war, in a new country, and told a very emotional story filled with many characters so we experienced several perspectives.

I learned so much about Jewish life and appreciated how Ain mixed in Yiddish and Hebrew words. And reading the author’s note enriched the experience even more. I feel like this short book packed in so much and I walked away knowing so mu
Phyllis Lader
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller
Once you start reading Meryl Ain's The Takeaway Men, you'll never want to stop. In telling the poignant story of the very different twin Lubinski girls born to enigmatic parents who are guarding their own painful memories of the Holocaust, Ain masterfully evokes a time, place and culture-Bellerose, Queens in the 1950s. You can almost taste the matzo balls!
But you don't have to be Jewish to appreciate this novel, because the theme is universal. When the past is punctuated by horror, while the pr
Jul 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A haunting and poignant story of the struggles faced by many people especially children who escaped the fate that many people did not during the Holocaust. With trying to put the horrors and pain of it behind and moving to America that brings its own challenges. The book itself is fiction but many facts and real truths that many left behind faced are brought to light in this book. Truly heartbreaking and inspiring to read! I highly recommend this book!
It was really interesting to see this family adjust to their new environment and reality. It was also interesting to notice the differences in those adjustments between the parents and the young daughters.

Another interesting aspect of the story: the pacing. I didn’t re-read the synopsis before I started reading it and was expecting it to take place over a shorter period of time. Instead it started in 1942 and ended in 1962. Each chapter was titled and dated, and jumped a little farther ahead ea
Sydney Long
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-reads
First and foremost, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Meryl Ain has compiled a colorful cast of characters against the backdrop of Jewish refugees trying to find a future in Queens during the 1950’s-60’s. Secrets, lies and coverups are attached to the characters all with the intent of protecting the younger generation.

What I love most about this book is how different each character is....from a father who lost his whole family in the Holocaust and despite moving to the US, cannot let go or talk a
Kim N'
Aug 12, 2020 rated it liked it
This book was very well researched and gave insight into the different ways survivors of the Holocaust coped with their experience. It also made me more curious about the trial and conviction of the Rosenbergs in the 1950s. I plan to do more reading on that subject. All in all it was worth the time, but it isn’t on my top 10.
Aron and Edyta Lubinski have survived the horrors of Poland during World War II. Edyta risked her life to relocate children and then hid Aron away in her attic. After the War, Aron and Edyta don't feel comfortable in Poland and find their way to a Displaced Persons Camp where Edyta converts to Judaism and gives birth to twin girls, Bronka and Johanna. Aron and Edyta find a way to the United States where they live with Aron's relatives, Izzy and Faye. Once in America Aron delves deeper into his r ...more
Stefanie Ball
May 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Takeaway Men by Meryl Ain is historical fiction set after the Holocaust. It tells the story of a Jewish family and their move to America after leaving a DP. It also talks about the struggle to assimilate into American life, especially for the father. This novel is a story about love, secrets and the importance of family. I loved this book. Very well written and the characters stick with you long after you are done reading. If you are interested in post WW II fiction, this is an excellent sel ...more
Lisa Laura
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
The Takeaway Men by Meryl Ain is a heart-wrenching tale of a Jewish family starting over in America after the Holocaust. The story follows twin girls who have very different personalities. Their parents decide it is best to keep them sheltered from the Holocaust and it's atrocities, but the girls learn little bits about it from their neighbors and teachers. They want to know their family's story and when their parents finally tell them in a family meeting, the story ends. Abruptly. We do not get ...more
Jun 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
The Takeaway Men is an excellent historical fiction story. The story is set after the Holocaust and shows the impact of survivors and their children.
This story resonated with me on so many levels. Queens, NY in the 1950’s is something I can picture so easily. As a child I spent so much time on those same streets with my grandparents. I could taste and smell the chicken soup and matzo balls and all the other Jewish food that was part of growing up.
Once I started reading putting it down was impo
Jul 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Aron and Edyta Lubinski have survived the horrors of Poland during World War II.  Edyta risked her life to relocate children and then hid Aron away in her attic.  After the War, Aron and Edyta don't feel comfortable in Poland and find their way to a Displaced Persons Camp where Edyta converts to Judaism and gives birth to twin girls, Bronka and Johanna.  Aron and Edyta find a way to the United States where they live with Aron's relatives, Izzy and Faye.  Once in America Aron delves deeper into h ...more
Aug 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Let me start by saying that I *technically* give this book a 4.5 star rating. When I was first given an opportunity to receive a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review, I was ecstatic. History is one of my favorite things to learn about, and I’d done extensive research/reading on the holocaust. That desire for more knowledge had been stoked by The Diary of Anne Frank, which was one of my favorite books growing up. But this book? The Takeaway Men? It talks about what happened to J ...more
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Takeaway Men is a powerful novel following a family that has immigrated to the US after the horrors of WWII. We learn about the horrors of WWII, the affect on families both during and post WWII and the stressors of adjusting to a new culture and country.

Aron and Judy have an incredibly past – Judy was not born Jewish but fell in love with Aron and did everything she could to protect him from the Nazis. With Judy’s help, Aron escapes the Holocaust but loses so much including his immediate fam
Sophia B
Aug 15, 2020 rated it liked it
The Takeaway Men is a story about Aaron, Judy & their children Bronka and Johanna Lubinski. Aaron & Judy had lived thru the atrocities of the Holocaust but never breathed a word of it so their children knew nothing. Until one day it was found out that a former Nazi soldier lived among them, which spurred an outpouring of each community members' story. It was time for the girls to find out the secrets their parents harbored from long ago....

It's difficult for me to read historical fiction novels
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Meryl's articles and essays have appeared in Huffington Post, The New York Jewish Week, The New York Times, Newsday and other publications. The Takeaway Men (August 2020) is her debut novel. In 2014, she co-authored the award-winning book, The Living Memories Project: Legacies That Last, and in 2016, wrote a companion workbook, My Living Memories Project Journal. She is a sought-after speaker and ...more

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