The Crate: A Story Of War, A Murder, And Justice

The Crate: A Story Of War, A Murder, And Justice

"Evocative, and inspiring ... So much more than a true crime." - Steve Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of NO STONE UNTURNED After surviving the horrors of the Holocaust – in ghettos, on death marches, and in concentration camps – a young couple seeks refuge in Canada. They settle into a new life, certain that the terrors of their past are behind them. They buil...

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Title:The Crate: A Story Of War, A Murder, And Justice
Author:Deborah Vadas Levison
Rating:

The Crate: A Story Of War, A Murder, And Justice Reviews

  • Irene

    This was a heart wrenching true crime, but it reads like a novel. There is no boring police procedural, there is just real people, raw emotions, and horrible tragedy. The author describes in great detail her parents survival during the holocaust, their hopes and dreams of a new life and owning a small lake front property of their own, and the shocking murder that touched their lives when a body was discovered on their land. This was an incredible read. 5 stars

    I received an advance copy for revie

    This was a heart wrenching true crime, but it reads like a novel. There is no boring police procedural, there is just real people, raw emotions, and horrible tragedy. The author describes in great detail her parents survival during the holocaust, their hopes and dreams of a new life and owning a small lake front property of their own, and the shocking murder that touched their lives when a body was discovered on their land. This was an incredible read. 5 stars

    I received an advance copy for review

  • Steve Jackson

    This is not your typical true crime book. The author weaves the story of her parents' experiences as Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust with what happens when a body is found on their property on a Canadian lake many years later. Both poignant and chilling.

  • Bev Walkling

    4.5 stars (rounded up to 5)

    Thank you to #NetGalley, the author and publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

    First of all, I felt very honoured to be able to read a copy of this powerful book. It is hard to categorize in some ways because it can fit into several different genres as the title leads one to expect. At different points throughout the book we learn about the experiences of the author's Hungarian parents as they lived not only through the Holocaust but also thr

    4.5 stars (rounded up to 5)

    Thank you to #NetGalley, the author and publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

    First of all, I felt very honoured to be able to read a copy of this powerful book. It is hard to categorize in some ways because it can fit into several different genres as the title leads one to expect. At different points throughout the book we learn about the experiences of the author's Hungarian parents as they lived not only through the Holocaust but also through what came afterwards. As a young woman growing up, the author did not really know what the Holocaust was or why she didn't have a large extended family as her classmates all seemed to have. She and her older brother led protected lives where their parents did their best to keep them shielded from all the horrors that had been a part of their worlds. When a body is found in a crate underneath her parents cottage, the violence of the act leads to a search to better understand her parents experiences and come to grips with the trauma that she feels as a result of what happened.

    The book is also part memoir as the author reflects on her own growing up and search for self, her love of the outdoors and the Muskoka region where the family cottage is located. her moving away from the family she holds dear and the cottage she loves to find a new "family" in her synagogue in the US. She left knowing that she could come back each year to spend time with those she loved in a place that was very dear and safe to her. When it became evident that a violent act had touched upon this sacred space it drew her to question whether she or her family would ever be able to go back and feel the same sense of peace and joy as they had felt before.

    In her efforts to deal with the trauma, Deborah began an in depth research to learn more about the victim and what her life had been like. As the story is told she moves between past and present, her parents story and that of the victim and this led to some repetition which was a minor drawback in the story. The answers to what happened are not given out all at once and as a reader I was enthralled and drawn in to find out who the killer had been and what the motive was. When the answers were finally revealed there was an added sense of horror in that the family knew the murderer.

    Lastly, the book is a book that speaks to justice - justice for those harmed via the Holocaust and for the family and victim of this heinous crime. Kudo's to the author for the time and effort that she put into her research. I hope it has given her a sense of peace as to how things turned out.

    In Canada these days we often hear about generational trauma especially in regards to the treatment of the First Nation's people of our land. This isn't an easy concept to grasp for those of us who come from a life of relative privilege but this book demonstrates how the trauma of the parents does indeed affect those who come afterwards. I think it is a book which has an important place in our modern world where hatred and violence seem to be on the rise again in so many places. Aside from being a fascinating piece of investigative work to read, it also has a moral lesson to leave. I highly recommend it.

  • Fishface

    This is not one, but a collection of powerful crime stories, braided together by coincidence, chaos or fate into the author's life. We not only see the progress of all these other people's life stories but we get to see how the author herself makes the transition from being the protected daughter of a loving family, living a comfortable life, to someone face to face with true evil, seeing the largest crime in recorded human history through the eyes of her paren

    This is not one, but a collection of powerful crime stories, braided together by coincidence, chaos or fate into the author's life. We not only see the progress of all these other people's life stories but we get to see how the author herself makes the transition from being the protected daughter of a loving family, living a comfortable life, to someone face to face with true evil, seeing the largest crime in recorded human history through the eyes of her parents. Don't miss this one, seriously. So powerful and so well told.

  • Valerity (Val)

    A very well told story about a family’s lake cottage in Canada- their peaceful getaway from the workaday world that they’ve made for themselves, after starting over in Canada once surviving the Holocaust. They find their tranquil place has suddenly gone from a precious memory, to everyone’s newest nightmare after a crate is found with the remains of a murdered body hidden in the crawlspace underneath the cottage. . As they struggle to come to terms with it as police investigate, they wonder if v

    A very well told story about a family’s lake cottage in Canada- their peaceful getaway from the workaday world that they’ve made for themselves, after starting over in Canada once surviving the Holocaust. They find their tranquil place has suddenly gone from a precious memory, to everyone’s newest nightmare after a crate is found with the remains of a murdered body hidden in the crawlspace underneath the cottage. . As they struggle to come to terms with it as police investigate, they wonder if violence has followed them from Europe. A fascinating read for those with an interest in the Holocaust, true crime, and justice in this murder case.

    My thanks for the advance digital copy that was provided by NetGalley, author Deborah Vadas Levison, and the publisher for my unbiased review.

    WildBlue Press

    June 19, 2018

  • Margaret Sankey

    Vadas' parents were Hungarian Jews who escaped the Holocaust as young adults, then fled Communist Hungary with the author's elder brother in a backpack. Their carefully insulated community of friends, all marked by their experiences, allowed them to build a new life in Toronto, relentlessly shielding their kids from danger and risk. In 2011, though, the family found out that the handyman they'd hired because of his Eastern European last name and friendly personality had brutally murdered his ex

    Vadas' parents were Hungarian Jews who escaped the Holocaust as young adults, then fled Communist Hungary with the author's elder brother in a backpack. Their carefully insulated community of friends, all marked by their experiences, allowed them to build a new life in Toronto, relentlessly shielding their kids from danger and risk. In 2011, though, the family found out that the handyman they'd hired because of his Eastern European last name and friendly personality had brutally murdered his ex and stuffed her body under their cabin as he did renovations. In a stroke, the parents were shaken to the core by the presence of violent evil in their place of asylum, reminded of the Hungarian neighbors who turned on them, while the author and her brother, carefully shielded their whole adult lives, came face to face with violence on their own property. Vadas' husband, whose Jewish parents were younger, and left earlier, raised him with a far more casual attitude, which manifests in this family crisis as being a callous, "just don't tell me about it," dick. Edited to add: apparently, the author's husband, to prove my point, needed to hunt up my contact information and send me a screed mansplaining the book. Astoundingly unprofessional, and maybe not a way to handle book reviewers.

  • Alicia Smock

    Canada became the safe haven for a young Jewish couple who survived the horrors of the Holocaust. Canada is where they were able to create a family, build a cottage on a lake in Muskoka, and enjoy all of the wonderful things life had to offer. Yet when they thought all terrors were in the past with the war, a horrifying discovery is uncovered. In the crawl space under their cabin, a crate was found and within it, the remains of an unknown human being. Deborah Vadas Levison, daughter of the Holoc

    Canada became the safe haven for a young Jewish couple who survived the horrors of the Holocaust. Canada is where they were able to create a family, build a cottage on a lake in Muskoka, and enjoy all of the wonderful things life had to offer. Yet when they thought all terrors were in the past with the war, a horrifying discovery is uncovered. In the crawl space under their cabin, a crate was found and within it, the remains of an unknown human being. Deborah Vadas Levison, daughter of the Holocaust survivors, tells readers her family’s story of what they had to endure not only during this dark present time, but also what her parents had to endure in the dark days of their past.

    This is not a fictional murder mystery. This is not a Whodunit novel. This is not an intense thriller. This is a real story about a real woman and her family who endured real hardships. The Crate is author Deborah Vadas Levison’s first novel and she has made an incredible impression in the published world. Her story goes deeper than any mystery novel could, for she focuses on elements other than the terrifying murder her family was forced to become a part of. Instead, Levison focuses on being together with family, overcoming the past to live a better future, and examining the ever constant battle of good versus evil.

    What truly brings The Crate to life is really Levison herself. Her writing style will make readers feel as if she is sitting in the room with them. Readers will be able to witness everything her and her family endured by her descriptive imagery, the good and the bad, and feel as if they endured it, as well. They will feel a connection to her as she asks questions about topics many people question and ponder. They will be on a roller coaster ride of emotion as she takes them through dark times and happy times. Levison expresses so much within her story that readers will not truly understand until they have read it themselves.

    Readers should also expect to not hear just one story, for there are a plethora of stories to be found within The Crate, taking place in the past and the present, all about different people who were connected to the author. Levison tells of her present day life with her husband and children. She journeys into the past, remembering stories her parents told her of their struggles in surviving the Holocaust as well as their escape to freedom and beyond. She reminisces on times during her childhood and memories with her brother. She also tells the story of the murdered victim, Samantha Collins, sharing her life with readers so that others can remember her, as well.

    All of the stories readers will hear from Levison refer back to the aforementioned focal points within her book. Stories of her family will remind readers that family is the most important thing in life and, during the good and bad times, family is always there. Stories of what her parents endured during the war and even what the Samantha Collins went through before her death give a dark reminder that there is evil in the world and it will always be a mystery as to how people can be so cruel. However, these same stories also remind people that there is also good in the world and it will always be there to battle against the evil, no matter how strong it may be.

    The Crate is a work of nonfiction for readers who are looking for something more than just another mystery thriller. It is a story of life and death, of good and evil, of happiness and hardship. Readers will receive multiple stories upon picking up Levison’s first novel and are in for quite the emotional and powerful journey as Levison takes them through her life and the life of her loved ones. Levison breathes so much life into a story involving a murder and, even during the darkest of times, she reminds readers of what is truly important in the one life that we are all given.

    **Originally published on my blog Roll Out Reviews on August 9, 2018**

  • Good Book Fairy

    4

    The Crate is a beautifully written true story written by the daughter of Hungarian Jewish Holocaust survivors. This read was not what I initially expected. The title can be misleading, because the story is much more of a memoir versus a typical true crime story. It reads more like a novel than nonfiction. This book is actually the weaving together of several stories that move back and forth between the present and the past. The author talks about her present-day life with her family, after movi

    4

    The Crate is a beautifully written true story written by the daughter of Hungarian Jewish Holocaust survivors. This read was not what I initially expected. The title can be misleading, because the story is much more of a memoir versus a typical true crime story. It reads more like a novel than nonfiction. This book is actually the weaving together of several stories that move back and forth between the present and the past. The author talks about her present-day life with her family, after moving from Canada to the U.S. She describes in vivid detail how her parents survived and escaped the Holocaust in Hungary, eventually building a life in Canada. The author also delves into her childhood and reflects upon how her family history has impacted her life. The discovery of the murder at her parents’ cottage retreat propels the author to explore their experiences and memories during the Holocaust and the trauma she feels as a result of the present-day murder. The detailing of the murder is another storyline that is woven throughout the book.

    The author’s storytelling, specifically about her overprotective childhood, her family, and her parents’ experiences is extremely well done. I felt like I really knew the author and her parents through the eloquent and descriptive writing. I felt as though I was actually with her, sharing her experiences. Since the author was not aware of the Holocaust while growing up, and didn’t know why she had no extended family, the way she became aware of her parents’ experiences was particularly moving. The description of her parents’ experiences was one of the most powerful and heart-wrenching accounts of the Holocaust that I’ve read. The depiction of the cottage in Ontario, Canada stimulated all of my senses. I could feel how beautiful and peaceful it was, and how nurtured and protected the author felt while there. I was moved by how lovingly the author wrote about her parents.

    The memoir portion of this book was more emotionally compelling and impactful than the true crime portion. Although the true crime portion was precisely and exhaustively researched, I did not find the storyline to be as interesting as the other portions of the book. The author attempts to draw parallels between her present life, her parents’ history, and the murder; however, the sections regarding the murder did not always seem to fit in well with the rest of the story. The story moved back and forth between her parents’ history, the murder, and the author’s present life. This became repetitive at times, and the timeline, specifically regarding the crime, could be confusing. That being said, the positives of this book far outweighed some of the minor drawbacks for me.

    It is so hard to capture the essence of this book, since it contains so many stories and is so multi-layered. There are many universal themes that are covered in this book including: love, loss, war, honor, evil, search for self, identity and belonging. This debut book poignantly illustrates how the experiences of our ancestors’ impact generations of the future. The author writes about her family and experiences with unflinching honesty. I applaud her bravery for sharing her life and revealing herself to the reader with such candor. Review by Guest Fairy Ronna.

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  • Jennifer Passaretti

    Wonderful story. I started reading this because it was recommended by a friend and I wasn’t disappointed. True story that was written by the daughter of Hungarian Jewish Holocaust survivors. The mystery aspect (crate with the remains of a woman was found at her parents’ summer cottage) made this book a page turner. As the crate mystery unfolds, the author also unveils more and more about her parents and grandparents during the holocaust. Again, this was a true story and the murder took place in

    Wonderful story. I started reading this because it was recommended by a friend and I wasn’t disappointed. True story that was written by the daughter of Hungarian Jewish Holocaust survivors. The mystery aspect (crate with the remains of a woman was found at her parents’ summer cottage) made this book a page turner. As the crate mystery unfolds, the author also unveils more and more about her parents and grandparents during the holocaust. Again, this was a true story and the murder took place in Ontario, Canada to where her parents escaped after the war.

  • Natasha

    This book was just bad,really bad. The whole book was just all over the place and l had to give up on it.

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