Even “Greater than the Sum of Its Parts”: SAFEKEEPING

Author: Jessamyn Hope

June 26, 2015

“At the heart of Jessamyn Hope’s debut novel is an heirloom, a 14th-century brooch inlaid with pearls and uncut gems, its intricate gold filigree tracing the outlines of pomegranates, symbol of the Promised Land. At Safekeeping’s outset, it’s 1994 and Adam, a junkie, has fled to Kibbutz Sadot Hadar, where his late grandfather, Franz, once lived as a Holocaust refugee. Adam is on a mission: to return his grandfather’s treasured brooch to the woman Franz loved. This is where the brooch becomes emblematic of the novel as a whole, because from here Safekeeping spins out into seven narratives – Adam and six other flawed characters from the kibbutz – cut with pieces from the history of the brooch itself, beginning with a pogrom in 1347. Hope artfully pulls these storylines together in a book that is greater than the sum of its parts. A complex, beautiful story about the inheritance of Jewish history.”

See Jade Colbert’s review for The Globe and Mail online.