Books > The Leaves are Falling

29 May 2014 | by Lucy Beckett

The Leaves are Falling

This is the story of Josef, a Jewish boy who miraculously escapes from the devastation of wartime Lithuania, having lost all his family through the twin genocides carried out by the Nazis and the Russians. He is billeted on a bracing farm in North Yorkshire, an area which Lucy Beckett, who taught at Ampleforth for many years, has observed and loved all her life. After two largely happy years, Josef is abruptly moved to grim, war-damaged London, where he finds a job in a shop selling old music scores, which suits him perfectly. Eventually he marries and later inherits the business.So far, so good and so wonderfully vivid, and often moving. There follows a backtrack to the prison camp in Russia where we find Josef’s father, Jacob Halpern, a Jewish doctor. The conversations in the pris


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