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Chasing Echoes

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A heartfelt tale about dysfunctional family dynamics, the ghosts of war and what brings us back together. Malka, the black sheep of her family, learns that her relatives are making a decades-in-the-planning pilgrimage to their grandfather’s pre-Holocaust home in Poland...and she wasn’t invited. After guilt-tripping herself a ticket as the self-appointed “Keeper of the Famil A heartfelt tale about dysfunctional family dynamics, the ghosts of war and what brings us back together. Malka, the black sheep of her family, learns that her relatives are making a decades-in-the-planning pilgrimage to their grandfather’s pre-Holocaust home in Poland...and she wasn’t invited. After guilt-tripping herself a ticket as the self-appointed “Keeper of the Family Archives,” it becomes clear that everyone’s brought more baggage than just their suitcases.


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A heartfelt tale about dysfunctional family dynamics, the ghosts of war and what brings us back together. Malka, the black sheep of her family, learns that her relatives are making a decades-in-the-planning pilgrimage to their grandfather’s pre-Holocaust home in Poland...and she wasn’t invited. After guilt-tripping herself a ticket as the self-appointed “Keeper of the Famil A heartfelt tale about dysfunctional family dynamics, the ghosts of war and what brings us back together. Malka, the black sheep of her family, learns that her relatives are making a decades-in-the-planning pilgrimage to their grandfather’s pre-Holocaust home in Poland...and she wasn’t invited. After guilt-tripping herself a ticket as the self-appointed “Keeper of the Family Archives,” it becomes clear that everyone’s brought more baggage than just their suitcases.

30 review for Chasing Echoes

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    This is what I love about comics. You can pick up something totally on a whim without knowing anything about it and absolutely adore it. Chasing Echoes is the story of an extended (and dysfunctional) Jewish American family trying to track down their roots in Poland. Most of their relatives and history were wiped out by the Holocaust. Now they only have some stories from their grandfather and a few old pictures to go by. Malka is the black sheep of the family. Her life is in complete disarray and This is what I love about comics. You can pick up something totally on a whim without knowing anything about it and absolutely adore it. Chasing Echoes is the story of an extended (and dysfunctional) Jewish American family trying to track down their roots in Poland. Most of their relatives and history were wiped out by the Holocaust. Now they only have some stories from their grandfather and a few old pictures to go by. Malka is the black sheep of the family. Her life is in complete disarray and her cousins all know about it. When she finds out on Facebook that the rest of her family is headed to Poland, she guilts her uncle into letting her come as well. Which is a good thing since she's the unofficial family historian. Oftentimes hilarious, others poignant and gut-wrenching. George Schall's simple clean linework captures the details of the Bloom family perfectly. He packs a lot of emotion into each character and there's a lot of them on this 11 person family odyssey. Received a review copy from Humanoids and Edelweiss. All thoughts are my own and in no way influenced by the aforementioned.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    A Jewish American family bickers, squabbles and kvetches their way through Poland on a quest to find traces of their family roots from before the devastation of World War II and the Holocaust. Of particular interest is an old mill which, um, well, try not to look at the cover if you want to be in suspense about that. Of course, the story is less about the quest and more about the relationships, at the center of which is the family black sheep, Malka. She's in quite the slump: jobless, broke, diag A Jewish American family bickers, squabbles and kvetches their way through Poland on a quest to find traces of their family roots from before the devastation of World War II and the Holocaust. Of particular interest is an old mill which, um, well, try not to look at the cover if you want to be in suspense about that. Of course, the story is less about the quest and more about the relationships, at the center of which is the family black sheep, Malka. She's in quite the slump: jobless, broke, diagnosed with ADHD, facing eviction with no new home lined up, shamed for having had bed bugs, and being told by her son that he'd rather live in another state with her ex-husband. And on top of all this, she just found out via Facebook that she has been left out of the family pilgrimage. The relationships in the book are almost too realistic, being muddled and focused on the little things that bug each other. The developments of the story are almost too realistic also, with the victories being as small and muted as the setbacks. In the end, I never warmed up to sad sack Malka and the rest of the family irritated as much as they interested me. Also, the storytelling relied heavily on the reader studying the family tree provided at the front of the book, with at least one character going unnamed for much of the book and the actual familial relationships hardly explained in the story proper. And then there's that mill on the cover. But the biggest problem I had with the book occurs on page 75. The family goes to an Elton John concert, and rather than working out some way to present the music graphically, the author actually inserts this text in the word balloons coming out of the singer's mouth: "Elton John's song lyrics are copyrighted by Universal Music Publishing -- and were not available for this graphic novel." This serves no purpose other than to display pettiness and to throw me out of the narrative. So here I am being petty in return: a third star was not available for this graphic novel.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ije the Devourer of Books

    The Bloom family are Jewish and they travel to Poland from the US and Israel in order to find the flour mill their family owned before the Nazi's invaded Poland. By the end of World War Two many of their family members had been murdered by the Nazis and so the family of Aunts, Uncles, siblings and cousins travel together to seek the past. Malka is the black sheep of the family. Although she has a Phd she is a divorced single parent struggling to bring up her two children. Initially excluded from The Bloom family are Jewish and they travel to Poland from the US and Israel in order to find the flour mill their family owned before the Nazi's invaded Poland. By the end of World War Two many of their family members had been murdered by the Nazis and so the family of Aunts, Uncles, siblings and cousins travel together to seek the past. Malka is the black sheep of the family. Although she has a Phd she is a divorced single parent struggling to bring up her two children. Initially excluded from the trip by her aunt and uncle she is eventually sent a ticket from them because she is the family archivist and historian. As the family travel across Poland trying to piece togther their past, they also come together as a family, reconising the way they hurt and exclude each other. Their pilgramage exposes both their strengths as a family and their weaknesses, but as they journey together they manager to discover stories from the family past which help them become a stronger family in the present. The story is really powerful as it explores the Jewish holocaust and also other holocausts that have happened when people are scapegoated and hated. The novel is not just a story about the past, it is also a story for the present as intolerance and hatred is encouraged in our world today. It is a very moving graphic novel with great artwork which conveys the story in a powerful way. Highly recommended. Copy provided via Eidelweiss in exchange for an unbiased review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Elia

    I guess the moral of this story is: "family is the absolute WORST but they're still family so I guess you have to put up with their bullshit because what else are you going to do." Malka is the designated family screw-up. Even though she is highly educated, she is a hot mess with no job, no place to live, and has just lost custody of her son because even he can't take her drama anymore. When she guilts her way on a family trip to rediscover their Jewish roots in Poland, she ends up discovering th I guess the moral of this story is: "family is the absolute WORST but they're still family so I guess you have to put up with their bullshit because what else are you going to do." Malka is the designated family screw-up. Even though she is highly educated, she is a hot mess with no job, no place to live, and has just lost custody of her son because even he can't take her drama anymore. When she guilts her way on a family trip to rediscover their Jewish roots in Poland, she ends up discovering that some of them are not that bad after all. Except they kind of are. And she kind of is too... none of these character are likeable, in fact most of them are pretty horrible, obnoxious, judgmental asshole people... but through all of that, there is genuine love for each other deep DEEP down.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ana

    I was initially concerned about the swearing and Malka's lifestyle, but it soon became apparent that it was part of the story. I would not recommend it for younger children, I would say mature teens and up. This book tells the story of a Jewish family who sets out to find their ancestor's home city and the flour mill he owned. Along the way, they discover many things about each other, Ashkenazi Jewish history, and the present state of antisemitism in Eastern Europe. I do not read too many graphi I was initially concerned about the swearing and Malka's lifestyle, but it soon became apparent that it was part of the story. I would not recommend it for younger children, I would say mature teens and up. This book tells the story of a Jewish family who sets out to find their ancestor's home city and the flour mill he owned. Along the way, they discover many things about each other, Ashkenazi Jewish history, and the present state of antisemitism in Eastern Europe. I do not read too many graphic novels, but I thought it was odd that through out the trip nobody lent Malka clothes after her luggage went missing.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dakota Morgan

    In Chasing Echoes, a Jewish extended family explores their roots in Poland, kvetching and farting along the way. Much of the book is played for laughs, but there are also real emotional moments, such as when the family visits Auschwitz and when the outcast family member proves her worth. There's nothing extraordinarily stand-out about the book - it's just a good solid family tale. You might not like the Blooms very much, but they'll grow on you before the end.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Graphic novels are not a new addition to the genre of Holocaust fiction. In fact, comic books in the 1950s-60s were among the first to speak about the Nazi war against the Jews. (For more information, see The Reporter’s review of “We Spoke Out: Comic Books and the Holocaust” at www.thereportergroup.org/Article.aspx....) However, graphic works related to the war and its aftermath continue to be published and the range of the material varies greatly. For example, two new works – “Chasing Echoes” b Graphic novels are not a new addition to the genre of Holocaust fiction. In fact, comic books in the 1950s-60s were among the first to speak about the Nazi war against the Jews. (For more information, see The Reporter’s review of “We Spoke Out: Comic Books and the Holocaust” at www.thereportergroup.org/Article.aspx....) However, graphic works related to the war and its aftermath continue to be published and the range of the material varies greatly. For example, two new works – “Chasing Echoes” by Dan Goldman and George Schall (Humaniods) and “In the Spider Web” adapted by Avraham Ohayon from a novel by Chaim Eliav (Feldheim Publishers) – take place in different time periods and focus on how the past affects families in distinct ways. “Chasing Echoes,” which takes place during contemporary times, describes itself as “a graphic novel about generations of survivors surviving each other” and focuses on familial relationships. “In the Spider Web,” whose events take place in the 1960s, calls itself “a suspenseful Families, Nazis and the aftermath of the Holocaust saga of Nazi intrigue and Divine providence across two continents and two generations” and is as much about political intrigue as it is about individuals’ reactions to history. See the rest of my review at http://www.thereportergroup.org/Artic...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    A family's trip to their father's/ grandfather's past brings them together in more ways than one.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cy

    lots of family drama. i thought this was a memoir when i got it, and the fact that it wasn't was a little disappointing to me. it was okay.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Diane Madlon-Kay

    3 stars

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mo

    ARC given by NetGalley for Honest Review [3.5 Stars] Chasing Echoes by Dan Goldman follows Malka, a dysfunctional single parent and family archivist, who gets a last minute invitation on her family's trip to find a family mill from the past. Malka's family is ... unlikeable to say the least and they judge Malka for her shortcomings throughout the story. I find that this made me, as a reader, empathize with Malka as well as root for her honor throughout. Goldman does a good job of depicting true fe ARC given by NetGalley for Honest Review [3.5 Stars] Chasing Echoes by Dan Goldman follows Malka, a dysfunctional single parent and family archivist, who gets a last minute invitation on her family's trip to find a family mill from the past. Malka's family is ... unlikeable to say the least and they judge Malka for her shortcomings throughout the story. I find that this made me, as a reader, empathize with Malka as well as root for her honor throughout. Goldman does a good job of depicting true feelings of Jewish people seeing the sites of genocide. While you see tourists taking pictures/chatting excitedly instead you see Malka's family huddled together feeling hurt and somber. The art style is well drawn, and while it is not my preferred style I can see the artist really captured the essence of each character and brought life to intimate moments between the family. Something that DID lower my rating was the nonchalant look at mental illness. Malka is seen at the beginning to take pills for something like depression or anxiety, though it is never mentioned to my memory. She loses her luggage during the trip which has said medicine in it, and during this time she uses the excuse of not having her meds as a way to get away with saying inappropriate things. This can be written off as fairly humorous when it comes down to it, but the ending we see Malka finding her pills and deciding she doesn't need them because she feels happy. This bothered me slightly because mental illness does not work like that and the misuse of medication can be dangerous. Overall I did enjoy the story and find that this will be a great piece of literature looking into the life of Jewish-American families in the modern age.

  12. 4 out of 5

    chloé

    2.5 I was very intrigued by the premise of this book. I haven't even found any graphic novels just quite like it. First of all, the drawing style was not my favorite I've ever seen. I have read other books that have had a similar drawing style, but I looked past it and they still are some of my favorites based off the plot. This one didn't fit that. As someone who has gone on a Holocaust trip similar to the characters in the story, I thoroughly enjoy being able to see the comparisons of the real 2.5 I was very intrigued by the premise of this book. I haven't even found any graphic novels just quite like it. First of all, the drawing style was not my favorite I've ever seen. I have read other books that have had a similar drawing style, but I looked past it and they still are some of my favorites based off the plot. This one didn't fit that. As someone who has gone on a Holocaust trip similar to the characters in the story, I thoroughly enjoy being able to see the comparisons of the real places to how they were drawn in the book. At times, the random lewd scenes took me by surprise and made me quite uncomfortable, and I don't think they needed to fit. The characters' development was also poorly done in my opinion, as the family obviously had many issues throughout the book and tensions were high, but as soon as the trip is over, many have completely changed their minds. I also just got mad at the characters and their words and actions (not sure if that was intentional). There were also so many characters, and the family tree was very nice at the beginning of the book, but I still continued to get confused. Overall, I think I got a little bit out of the book, seeing as I was able to finish it without DNF-ing, but I also don't believe it is a family or Holocaust story I intend on recommending.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Johnette

    This was my first foray into graphic novels. Once I got a few pages in I really liked it. The story seemed like it would fit almost any typical family, religion aside. Smile to your face and talk about you behind your back. It was well written and I was glad for a happy ending. The history was both heartbreaking and enlightening. It changed my opinion of graphic novels and I look forward to reading another one.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Russell

    I'd give it probably a 3.75. As a family historian, I loved the premise, but the execution was a bit wanting. I didn't love how much of a mess he made the main character. It's one thing to make her family's concerns reasonable, but it's another to make her a total caricature. Otherwise I thought it was great. Illustrations were decent, at least not distracting if not unique. I loved the family dynamic and the history and the honesty.

  15. 5 out of 5

    M

    A slice of life story told through different points of view in the Bloom family. Everyone has sorrows and difficulties they are trying to face. At the same time, the family is working together to find their family home that was lost to them during the holocaust. There is humor, sadness, existential crises, joy, and love of family. Well done art takes you back and forth in time with ease, and keeps you interested in the story along with the words.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Christen

    It doesn't take long for you to get a feel for how the Bloom family assembles into their obviously well-worn tracks of their own family drama. Their disfunction sets up a good back drop for the heavy topic of the Holocaust and intolerance for Jews that still exists today. The art style is pleasantly realistic and helps draw you in to the story.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Andréa

    Note: I received an ARC sample from the publisher at ALA Annual 2019.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Elisabeth

    I didn’t love this as much as i wanted to. I liked the illustrations but the story line didn’t captivate me.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Melody

    Jewish family story. Adult story.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Johanna

    this is a comedy about holocaust descendants and it almost works.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Helen

  22. 4 out of 5

    Matt Piechocinski

  23. 5 out of 5

    Meghan

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

  25. 5 out of 5

    Diane Jean

  26. 4 out of 5

    Aninda De

  27. 5 out of 5

    ArchaeoLibraryologist

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lanen

  29. 4 out of 5

    Joyce

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bridget A.

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