It’s 1843 in a little shtetl village in Russian occupied Poland, a baby is delivered amidst blood and pain into squalor. The mother dies in childbirth. A fictional story, but based on historical and genealogical research, through five generations of the Domansky family –inspired by David Gelernter’s own ancestors. Taking in a huge sweep of human history, from the pogrom-plagued shtetls of Eastern Europe in the 1800s to post-WW2 suburban London. This is Leizar’s story.
Using his own family’s history as inspiration for his debut historical novel, David Gelernter’s “Leizar” is family saga triumph.
Having extensively researched circumstances and happenings from the birth of his great grandfather in 1843, leading up to his grandfather’s fleeing from Russian occupied Poland in 1899, desperately travelling to several countries and eventually settling in London, the author has based many of his characters on real members of his family and woven around them a compelling and unforgettable story of what life might have been like for them all.
Spanning five generations, this novel reminds the reader that history isn’t just about kings and queens, or the great and the good, but is made from the stories of good, honest, everyday people whose memories are passed down through generations.
Not only has David Gelernter written a memorable and accomplished family saga but records memorable events in history in graphic detail in this remarkable story.
Through 100 years and five generations of the Domansky family, the story takes in a huge sweep of human history. From the pogrom-plagued shtetls of Eastern Europe in the 1800s to post-WW2 suburban London.
A champion of early democracy, Leizar is a writer who faces pogroms, prison, antisemitism, and the travails of two world wars. He survives the injustice reined on downtrodden people from the Cossacks. With death and destruction all around, desecration of his wedding in Poland, kangaroo trials and brutal punishment. The family live in four countries, eventually sheltering from bombs blowing out the windows in London in WW2.
And yet there are tender human moments of true love he shares with his wife Chaya. Together they build a dynastic family.
About David Gelernter
David is a youthful 76-year-old. After retiring from his work in the family court, he helped to found a fostering agency for children, started a multi academy trust with three schools, and took up writing. He is married to Jill with three children and five grandchildren.
“Leizar is the name of my grandfather whom I never met. I knew he was born in Poland in 1871 and he died in London in 1948; he survived much adversity in many countries and raised a dynastic family. He was an active supporter of early socialism and believed in an egalitarian society.
“Leizar is also a kind of hymn of praise to the family unit – quarrelsome, full of differences and divides, yet stronger than any state or nation has ever been, and the principal vehicle of survival.”
Receiving five-star reviews, an Amazon reader said:
“This was a fascinating read although classed as fiction is a great reminder of the historical persecution of the Jews, which has not stopped to this day. It is a lesson in triumph over adversity and how Leizar’s motto of ‘never never give up’ is an example to us all.” – Mr Ben Zatland
Other Amazon readers say:-
Leizar by David Gelernter
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 6 December 2021
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 3 December 2021
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 9 December 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars It’s a wonderful book. Would be great as a movie.
Reviewed in the United States on 12 December 2021
More From David Gelernter:
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David Gelernter Instagram- @Leizarbook Twitter-@LeizarBook
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