Strubbe, William. “Lullaby for Yossi: A Reincarnational Love Story”, Peace Press, 2014.
“A Reincanational Love Story“
First off I am aware that the word “reincarnational” does not yet exist in our language but I suspect that it will one day. The word is the author’s and not mine and I suppose he could have named this “a love story about reincarnation” but this works just fine. The story begins in Warsaw and at the university there where Jan and Jozek study until the Nazi occupation of Poland. Jan is okay because he is Catholic and they were not yet targeted but he is also involved in the Polish underground indeed endangering his life. Jozek is Jewish but has forged identity papers and he helps Jewish children from the ghetto survive on the Aryan side of Warsaw. He knows that there is the danger that he will be discovered and the question is when.
We move forward in time to Israel and meet Chris who has been traveling around the world but now is on a kibbutz just before the war with Lebanon begins. He and the members of the kibbutz are fascinated with each other but there is one special senior citizen that Chris is drawn to—he is not sure what the attraction is but Yossi is reticent and ornery and peculiar who is preoccupied with a Polish lullaby that he often hums. Chris feels safe with Yossi and he wants to protect him. I am not going to tell you where the story goes from here because the title hints at it. What I will tell that this is a book about what it is like to live after the Holocaust and it is a magical reading experience. The author says in the blurb: “Life is a marvelous, magical mystery, and the sometimes unfathomable power of love manages to overcome the confines of space and time and find itself….again”.