The Old Brown Suitcase

by | Read by Sofia Bunting Newman

Published by Post Hypnotic Press Inc.

The Old Brown Suitcase, an award winning book that has sold extraordinarily well both nationally and internationally, now appears in a new edition by Ronsdale Press. The novel narrates the absorbing story of a young girl who survived the Holocaust against all odds. At age fourteen, Slava comes to Canada with her parents and sister and a suitcase filled with memories of a lost childhood, memories that now haunt her new life. She cannot forget the hunger, stench and disease in the Warsaw Ghetto, nor the fear and humiliation of being incarcerated behind a high brick wall. She cannot forget her extraordinary escape from the Ghetto when she walked alone through the gate while the guards were looking the other way. Nor can she forget being swallowed up in a strange and unknown place to survive under a hidden identity. The story juxtaposes heart-wrenching scenes from a child’s life in war-torn Poland with the life of a teenager trying to adjust to a new country in time of peace. In Canada, it is not easy for Slava to build a bridge between two cultures; nor is it easy to live with the turmoil of her immediate past. At the same time she must face the new challenges involved in being an immigrant, a Jew and a teenage girl. This new edition appends notes on the Warsaw ghetto and a bibliography for future reading.

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AudioFile Review

The Old Brown Suitcase

Narrator Sofia Bunting Newman moves confidently through a range of accents and languages to tell the story of Slava Lenski, a girl we meet during her childhood in Poland in the early days of WWII. While Newman captures a sense of place and its people, she reads more than she performs, a questionable choice in a story so full of emotion as listeners hear about Slava’s family being forced into the Warsaw Ghetto, escaping into hiding, enduring the murder of Slava’s sister, and ultimately emigrating to Canada in an attempt to find a normal life. This audiobook would have benefited from a more intuitive performance. A.F. SYNC 2015 © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine

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