Image of The Trick: A Novel


Image of The Trick: A Novel

Bergmann’s storytelling is a feat of magic in and of itself — his light tone and deft descriptions capture the wonder of friendship, the heartbreak of youth and the dread of some of history’s darkest moments with an ease that is both engaging and deeply emotional. The result is a story that is powerfully moving without being heavy-handed, and full of hope without being blind to the horror and selfishness humanity is capable of. The descriptions of the circus and the magicians’ trade throughout the story are delightful — but the real power of the book comes from the miracles that ordinary individuals can achieve, and the impact the smallest of choices can have on so many lives.

In 1934, 15-year-old Moshe Goldenhirsch falls in love with a magician’s assistant, and runs away to join a traveling circus, eventually transforming into the world-renowned magician known as the Great Zabbatini. But when his Jewish identity is discovered, Moshe’s special skills will be the only thing that can save him from death. In 2007, 10-year-old Max Cohn is determined to bring his estranged parents back together through magic, and seeks out the Great Zabbatini in the hopes of discovering his secrets. (ATRIA, Sep., 384 pp., $26.00)
Reviewed by: 
Bridget Keown