A dystopian story. 1984 meets The Holocaust. The Last Witness, written by Jerry Amernic, has one of the most fascinating premises for a book I’ve ever come across. Two years ago Amernic asked university students what they knew about The Holocaust and WWII. Their lack of knowledge and incorrect information in their answers inspired Amernic to write this futuristic thriller.
Within the first 4 pages of this book I thought three things:
1. It’s the future
2. It’s set in NYC
3. Although I was already sucked into the plot, the characters, and the language, there was a small part of me that knew it was probably going to break my heart over and over throughout the journey.
And I was right.
Jack Fisher is the last living Holocaust survivor. It’s 2039. Jack has a great-granddaughter Christine who is an 8th-grade history teacher. Christine is fighting the school board to have The Holocaust inserted back into the curriculum. When Christine suddenly goes missing, Jack soon finds himself in danger once again. We’re left to discover that what was once science is now personal belief, and what was once history has morphed into religion.
If Orwell is your guy, and Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale) is your lady, then this is right up your alley.
For all our sakes, I hope this remains just a great novel and not a sign of things to come
Review by Sara Kafka