The Takeaway Men by Meryl Ain

Poignant and haunting, The Takeaway Men explores the impact of immigration, identity, prejudice, secrets, and lies on parents and children in mid-twentieth-century America.

Synopsis -

With the cloud of the Holocaust still looming over them, twin sisters Bronka and Johanna Lubinski and their parents arrive in the US from a Displaced Persons Camp. In the years after World War II, they experience the difficulties of adjusting to American culture as well as the burgeoning fear of the Cold War. Years later, the discovery of a former Nazi hiding in their community brings the Holocaust out of the shadows. As the girls get older, they start to wonder about their parents’ pasts, and they begin to demand answers. But it soon becomes clear that those memories will be more difficult and painful to uncover than they could have anticipated. 

Review - 

As an author who shares about the journeys of others, I feel these stories are so important.  While The Takeaway Men is a work of fiction, it beautifully shares the story of of a couple - a Polish woman who helped to protect Jews during the Holocaust and her husband, a devout Jewish man who lost everything - making a new life in North America after the war.  This new life involves keeping a secret - that the wife who is living as a Jewish woman, was never officially converted. The author takes it even further, sharing what this new life looked like through the eyes of their daughters as well many in their community. And although a work of fiction, things shared are based on real events, some of which I did not know. 

Underneath the story line, the author guides us to look at the many ways people embrace to with a traumatic past. What is the best - keeping memories alive as a part of history, or leaving the memories behind by burying them and refusing to talk about them? Which is best for your children? Should they know your history?  It's a question many survivors ask themselves every day and the answer isn't simple. How about keeping secrets about our past? In this story we follow the toll keeping secrets can take on those that hold them as well as their spouse and children.

A great read.

Now Available for Pre-order!: ~ Barnes & Noble ~ IndieBound ~ Add to Goodreads
Release date: August 4, 2020

Meet the Author - 
Fab author interview HERE!

Meryl Ain’s articles and essays have appeared in Huffington Post, The New York Jewish Week, The New York Times, Newsday and other publications. The Takeaway Men is her debut novel. In 2014, she co-authored the award-winning book, The Living Memories Project: Legacies That Last, and in 2016, wrote a companion workbook, My Living Memories Project Journal. She is a sought-after speaker and has been interviewed on television, radio, and podcasts. She is a career educator and is proud to be both a teacher and student of history. She has also worked as a school administrator. 

The Takeaway Men is the result of her life-long quest to learn more about the Holocaust, a thirst that was first triggered by reading The Diary of Anne Frank in the sixth grade. While teaching high school history, she introduced her students to the study of the Holocaust. At the same time, she also developed an enduring fascination with teaching about and researching the Julius and Ethel Rosenberg case. An interview with Robert Meeropol, the younger son of the Rosenbergs, is featured in her book, The Living Memories Project. The book also includes an interview with Holocaust survivor, Boris Chartan, the founder of the Holocaust Museum and Tolerance Center of Nassau County, New York. Meryl holds a BA from Queens College, an MA from Teachers College, Columbia University, and an Ed.D. from Hofstra University. She lives in New York with her husband, Stewart. They have three married sons and six grandchildren.

​Connect with the author: Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram


  1. Thank you so much, Marilyn, for the wonderful review and coverage!


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