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Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite
The Coat by April Grunspan is the story of a young man named Seth Feinberg, a second-generation Jew who is finally getting to understand what happened in the lives of his grandparents during the Holocaust. On his 18th birthday, Seth was gifted the leather coat of a Nazi officer by his grandfather. Both his grandfather and grandmother were Holocaust survivors, yet they never shared anything about that time of their lives. When Seth left for college, he took the coat with him and thus his thirst to find out what happened to his grandparents begins. As an atheist Jew, he doesn’t know much about faith, but he knows basic human decency. However, during his research, he starts penning a story about the coat and its origin. He starts to wonder how his grandparents got this coat and why it came in their possession. He will find some answers that he is looking for and some that he wasn’t even expecting. And in the meantime, he will find himself.
Imaginative, emotional, and thought-provoking, The Coat gave me a lot to think about. April Grunspan is very respectful in the way she speaks of the survivors of the Holocaust, yet she is bold enough to shake readers at the same time. Seth is a curious young man who tries to understand the world he lives in yet he doesn’t fit in. The coat turned out to be exactly what he needed to break out of his shell and accept himself, quirks and all. Seth started the journey to find his family’s identity over the years, but he found himself. The plot is paced just right so that the reader can digest what is happening and become invested in Seth’s search for the truth. This is an enjoyable and invigorating story that you will want to read again and again.