A Book Review of Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels

Essay by Dreamer01 January 2010

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The setting of a movie, play, or novel can immensely influence notable elements such as character development, plot progression, and culture. Anne Michael’s “Fugitive Pieces” explores the stories of two people belonging to different generations, and how the events of the holocaust ultimately changed their lives. Throughout the novel the setting frequently changes to contrast the differences between each location. Notably, the central setting in the novel is Toronto. When the protagonist(s) travel between each city we notice an evolvement in cultural implications and in personal identity. Although the plot is important, it isn’t a large element in the novel, but rather it is the ideas of the multileveled exploration of the way in which the characters develop after being exposed to a new set of ideals and values.

First of all, the story begins with Jakob Beer, a seven year old Jewish boy whose parents were killed by Nazi soldiers and his dearly loved sister, Bella was captured.

After a few weeks, Jakob finished the last of his food supply, when he decided to flee the horrendous scene. Fortunately, he was spotted and rescued by a Greek Geologist named Athos Roussos. Athos willingly takes the boy into his own care treating the boy as if he was his own son. Athos brings little Jakob to a small island in Greece where he believes the Nazi’s will have a harder time tracking him. While in Greece, Athos teaches Jakob many exceptional things such as: geology, art, music, and poetry. After the events of the war, Athos and Jakob decided to move to Toronto where they would live out the rest of their lives. The duo would spend time at eateries, going for walks, and learning English. While attending the University of Toronto, Jakob meets a new friend Maurice...