When Time Stopped

By Ariana Neumann,

Book cover of When Time Stopped: A Memoir of My Father's War and What Remains

Book description

In this astonishing story that “reads like a thriller and is so, so timely” (BuzzFeed) Ariana Neumann dives into the secrets of her father’s past: “Like Anne Frank’s diary, it offers a story that needs to be told and heard” (Booklist, starred review).

In 1941, the first Neumann family member…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked When Time Stopped as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This is an extraordinary memoir. Arianna’s father, Hans, came from a family with 34 family members living in Czechoslovakia before WWII; by 1945, 25 would have been murdered by the Nazis. He experienced unspeakable horrors, but he did not speak of them to his family. Having grown up in Venezuela, Arianna knew nothing of his past—not even, in fact, that Hans’ family was Jewish. Upon his death, Hans left her a box crammed with letters, diary entries, and memorabilia, including an identification card that had his picture but bore a different name. Investigating the various threads of his life, this…

When Time Stopped is a family saga of love and self-sacrifice and also a detective thriller, both under the shadow of Nazi persecution. Ariana grew up in Caracas and except for her father’s nightmares her family was unaware of the deep wounds the war had left on the young man. After his death, a box of documents starts her on a harrowing journey into his past. It begins in Prague from where Hans’ parents were transported to Terezin. The loving correspondence with their two sons haunts me still. This beautifully written and deeply moving story is a reminder that it…

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