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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 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 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.

50 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. 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.

  3. 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 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.

  4. 5 out of 5

    chloe ^-^

    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.

  5. 5 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 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.

  6. 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 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.

  7. 4 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.

  8. 4 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 4 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.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Andréa

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

  12. 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.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kasey Gilbert Poindexter

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Klein

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kirsty

  18. 5 out of 5

    David

  19. 5 out of 5

    Fahra Daredia

  20. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

  21. 5 out of 5

    Annie

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sara

  23. 5 out of 5

    Paula

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Wright Oelkers

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ann

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Paletta

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tina

  30. 4 out of 5

    Thea

  31. 4 out of 5

    Malissa

  32. 5 out of 5

    Billie Cotterman

  33. 5 out of 5

    D

  34. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

  35. 5 out of 5

    Annie

  36. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielle

  37. 5 out of 5

    Markeisa Holder

  38. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

  39. 4 out of 5

    Sunnymay

  40. 4 out of 5

    Kim Friant

  41. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  42. 5 out of 5

    Susan Campton

  43. 4 out of 5

    AC

  44. 4 out of 5

    Brenda Maki

  45. 5 out of 5

    Sam

  46. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Larson

  47. 4 out of 5

    JoTA

  48. 5 out of 5

    Julie

  49. 4 out of 5

    Hilary Nelson

  50. 5 out of 5

    Kim Ellis

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