June 2019
by Jenna Blum
Harper Paperbacks
June 4, 2019
Historical Fiction
Paperback, 432 pages
The New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us creates a vivid portrait of marriage, family, and the haunting grief of World War II in this emotionally charged, beautifully rendered story that spans a generation, from the 1960s to the 1980s.

"I was spellbound from the start of The Lost Family . The writing is so smart and empathetic and I think what will stay with me the most are the characters, who on the surface embody glamour and verve, but who are in fact all striving to find happiness under a legacy of devastating loss. This is a dazzling novel of great compassion, honestly reckoning with the time-and-place-spanning ripple effect of great pain as well as love."
-Laura Moriarty, New York Times bestselling author of The Chaperone
This exquisitely crafted and compassionate novel offers a lesson in honesty, regardless of how difficult the truth may be. It will offer plenty of discussion for book groups.”
- Library Journal (starred review)
Dear Reader,
People always ask me, when they find out I interviewed Holocaust survivors for the Steven Spielberg Survivors of the Shoah Foundation, which survivors’ stories I used in my novels. My answer, “None—they don’t belong to me. They’re hallowed ground.” Which is true. But Peter Rashkin’s story in The Lost Family was loosely inspired by one gentleman I interviewed. Like Peter, the survivor was a chef in his native country. Like Peter, he survived concentration camps: Theresienstadt and Auschwitz. Like Peter, he emigrated to the States after liberation—and like Peter, the only job he could get was as a busboy, from which he was then fired because the camp tattoo on his arm upset the American diners.
This gentleman started me thinking about the refugee chapter of the survivor’s life: what it would be like to come to a new land, having lost everything and everybody you loved, and starting over in a country that had never been occupied. And how, for such a man, food and cooking would be his universal language, a kitchen, his haven in a world where there really wasn’t safety anymore. As stated in the novel, “A rutabaga was a rutabaga. Vegetables, meat and technique had no language. A kitchen, any kitchen, was Peter’s home.”
For so many of us, food means comfort, tradition, ritual, family. Home. I hope The Lost Family is a feast of delights for you, a reading experience that transports you to another world while reminding you of the things we all share every day.
Bon appétit!
Jenna Blum