And Darkness Was Under His Feet: Stories of a Family
by Annie Dawid (Litchfield Review Press/BookSurge)

Reviewed by Jewish Book World

This sprawling, warm-hearted story spans six continents and one hundred years, from the 1900 Sabbath table of Reizl and Lazar Solomon and their young sons, in Radautz, Bukovina, to a glorious millennial reunion in Paris.

Dawid presents the family history in twenty-four accounts of varying length, rich in personal vignettes though mindful of the overriding historical arc. Here is Hans, a grandson of Reizl and Lazar, 'resident alien' of Tientsin, North China,1939; Berthold, another grandson, on day 555 of his imprisonment in a Communist prison cell, 1950; great-granddaughters Toni and Marguerite, 'les Belles Jumelles,'
internationally acclaimed Belgian duo-pianists, 1990s.

The final story, set in Neuilly, a suburb of Paris, is an amazing set piece. From far-flung corners of the world, e.g., Dakar, Liverpool, Haifa, San Francisco, Saigon, Moscow, Capetown, Rio, Brussels, Dublin, New York, the descendants of Reizl and Lazar -- gay, straight, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-racial, multi-talented -- assemble in boisterous celebration of the ninety-second birthday of Freda, granddaughter of Reizl and Lazar, oldest surviving member of the family, and the birth of the new millennium.