My Last Lament by James William Brown. Published by Berkley

Aliki is the last of her kind, a lamenter in her Greek village, a woman who mourns the sorrows of her village and celebrates the triumphs. The world begins to change rapidly after World War II and old traditions are in danger of being lost forever. An American researcher asks Aliki to record the story of her village before the story disappears all together. But Alki does not just tell the story of her village, she shares the story of her life. From the time her father is killed by Nazis for stealing food, to Aliki’s new life living with her friend Takis’s mother. Soon they are joined by a Jewish refugee and son Stelios. Aliki tells of how the village was burned to the ground as the end of the war, and how she, Stelios and Takis fled across their war torn country, looking for a place to call home. While the three form an alliance, a family of sorts, the very things that unite them will also threaten to tear them apart. This is one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read. I fell into the world Brown created so totally, I lost all track of time and place. Highly recommended

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