The Most Precious of Cargoes
Jean-Claude Grumberg, Frank Wynne
‘A magnificent small book to read urgently’ Liberation
Once upon a time in an enormous forest there lived a poor woodcutter and his wife. Around them a war wages, and hunger is a constant companion. Yet every night, the woodcutter’s wife prays for a child.
On a train crossing the forest, a Jewish father holds his twin children. His wife no longer has enough milk to feed them. In hopes of saving both their lives, he wraps his daughter in a shawl and gently throws her from the train.
While foraging for food, the woodcutter’s wife finds a bundle, a baby girl wrapped in a shawl. She knows that this little girl will be pursued, but she cannot ignore this gift: she will accept the precious cargo, and raise her as her own. . .
Set against the horrors of the Holocaust and told with a fairytale-like lyricism, The Most Precious of Cargoes, translated from French by Frank Wynne, is a deeply moving fable about family and redemption, a story that reminds us that humanity can be found in the most inhumane of places.
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