Aharon Appelfeld, a native of Czernowitz, Bukovina, and one of Israel’s most acclaimed novelists, has set most of his stories in Eastern Europe, on the cusp of the Shoah. However, his latest novel, Suddenly, Love (Schocken Books), takes place in Jerusalem, mainly in the home of Ernst, a flinty 70-year-old former Red Army commander from Ukraine. The retired investment adviser is recovering from surgery, and is tended by Irena, a 30-something housekeeper and the daughter of Holocaust survivors. Irina, a pious woman living alone, is awed by Ernst, an intellectual who plugs away at his novel. Despite their dissimilar personalities, an unlikely love develops between Ernst and Irena, in this compelling work by a world-class writer. — M.S.
(American Jewish World, 6.20.14)