Every family has a story. Every story, eventually, must be told.
For most of their lives, Julian Perel and his sister, Paula, lived in a house cast in silence, witnesses to a father struggling with a devastating secret too painful to share. Though their father took his demons to the grave, his past refuses to rest.
As adults, brother and sister struggle to find their voices. A scientist governed by numbers and logic, Julian now lives an ordered life of routine and seclusion. In contrast, Paula has entered the world as eagerly as Julian retracts from it. An aspiring opera singer, she is always moving, buoyant with sound.
Yet both their lives begin to change on a Wednesday, miercoles, the day that sounds like miracles.
Before embarking on a European opera tour, Paula asks her housekeeper, Sola, to stay at her place–and to look after Julian in the apartment above. Sola, too, has a story.
As Paula uncovers pieces of her father’s early life in Budapest and the horrifying truth of his past, Julian bears witness to Sola’s story–revelations that help all three learn how to both surrender and revere the shadows that have followed them for so long.
The Speed of Light is a powerful novel about three unforgettable souls who overcome the tragedies of the past to reconnect with one another and the world around them. Elizabeth Rosner has created a beautifully interwoven story of love and redemption that proves the pain of the untold story is far greater than even the most difficult truth.
Elizabeth Rosner is the author of three novels, a poetry collection, and most recently, a book of nonfiction. SURVIVOR CAFÉ: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory was a finalist for a National Jewish Book Award; interviews with Rosner were featured on National Public Radio and in the New York Times. Her prize-winning novels have been translated into ten languages; her essays and poems have appeared in Elle, the Forward, the NY Times Magazine, and numerous anthologies. Based in Berkeley, CA, she leads writing workshops internationally.
“A haunting tale of timeless secrets and timely salvation… a spellbinding tribute to the revelations that redeem us and the emotions that ennoble us.” ~Booklist (boxed and starred review)
“A resonating novel about silence and sharing, about the mystery and pain of the past and how it must be reclaimed.” ~Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
The Speed of Light was a national bestseller, and translated into nine languages. The novel was awarded the Ribalow Prize, judged by Elie Wiesel; it was awarded the Great Lakes Colleges Award for New Fiction, and was named a finalist for le Prix Femina (France).
Selected for “One City, One Book” in Peoria, IL, The Speed of Light remains popular among book groups and in classroom curricula (from high school to graduate school).
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