What the reviewers are saying about THE HEIRS
"A compelling read."
—Rosanne Korenberg, award-winning film producer and co-executive producer of I, Tonya
"Hawthorne, who has written eight nonfiction books, presents a powerful meditation on identity, family history and the legacy of war." See full review in The Jewish Week here
—Sandee Brawarsky, The Jewish Week
“In THE HEIRS, Fran Hawthorne skillfully weaves an intimate and compelling portrait of Eleanor Ritter, a woman whose growing obsession with her family's experiences during the Holocaust threatens to derail her life more than fifty years later. Both heartbreaking and hopeful, THE HEIRS vividly lays bare the injustice of a legacy of guilt, and the danger of holding the present accountable for our past.”
—V.R. Barkowski, author of A Twist of Hate
“This novel resolves much more differently than we might believe at the start, and with more complications than one could note in a relatively short review. All of that makes this novel very believable and real, very human.
And more than anything else, it shows readers that it is possible to handle almost any situation with grace, through change, acceptance and forgiveness." See full review in The Jewish Voice here
—Alyssa A. Lappen, The Jewish Voice
“With grace, precision and infinite tenderness, Hawthorne limns the dilemma of the so-called sandwich generation, caught between rambunctious, rebellious children and declining parents. Here is a wise, thoughtful novel to savor and an author to watch — and love.”
—Yona Zeldis McDonough, fiction editor of Lilith magazine
“THE HEIRS is an engrossing and thoroughly American novel, describing perfectly family life in today’s suburban New Jersey, but with a twist. Although the story takes place just before the turn of the millennium, the characters keep slipping back to the family’s past in Poland during the Holocaust. This is the story of immigrants — Jews, Catholics and all of us — whose children and grandchildren remain tied to the suffering and struggles which brought them to America.”
Joel Levy, longtime New York regional director of
the Anti-Defamation League and former president of the Center for Jewish History
“Fran Hawthorne’s debut novel, set just as the 20th century is slipping into the 21st, is a wonderfully engaging read. Whether it is her annoyingly perfect cousin, her elderly Holocaust survivor mother’s newly broken hip, her pre-bat mitzvah daughter and un-athletic young son, or her non-Jewish husband whose work with computers keeps him constantly at the office, all that pressure on Eleanor Ritter leads to things which have long stayed buried starting to ooze out. Many readers — especially women — will relate to Eleanor’s struggles and see in them their own.”
—Debra Nussbaum Cohen, the New York correspondent
for the major Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
Other Commentary and Responses
Interview on radio station WHPC 90.3 fm "My Hometown"