From the opening paragraph of Aharon Appelfeld’s novel, To the Edge of Sorrow, readers enter the realm of a small group of Jewish resistance fighters in a Ukrainian forest in the latter part of World War II. Through the eyes of a teenager named Edmund, I came to appreciate the resiliency and determination of these people. Despite deplorable conditions, they were unwilling to surrender to the German Army or local collaborators. The stronger personalities had an uncanny ability to protect the weaker ones. The will to live superseded bouts of depression and outright discouragement over their bleak and frightening situation.
A week after finishing the book, I still hear Edmund’s voice and recall poignant details shedding light on vulnerable and strong characters. Being estranged from his parents, Edmund regrets how he treated his parents before their separation. Like many of the other characters, Edmund’s past secrets and disappointments are recalled throughout the book. Read More