Jenna Blum, author of the bestseller Those Who Save Us, is back with another novel, one that is equally heartbreaking and haunting. Covering topics of grief and love, Blum artfully and skillfully reminds us that the past never seems to stay there, and that the repercussions can still be felt decades and generations later.

The Lost Family begins in 1965 Manhattan. World War II may be over, but the memories are always present for Peter Rashkin, who survived Auschwitz, but lost his wife and daughters. Now, trying to make a new life for himself, he becomes the owner and head chef of a restaurant called Masha, a namesake to his lost wife. People from all over come to eat and savor the impossibly good food, and to admire Peter, who is dashingly handsome, and one of the most eligible bachelors in town. With his extended family – the little that is left – encouraging him to find someone new to share his life with, Peter meets June, a model twenty years younger than him, and begins a wild and passionate relationship with her. When June unexpectedly becomes pregnant, the two marry, with Peter hoping that a new family will erase the trauma of his past.

Two decades later, Peter, June and their daughter Elsbeth still struggle with the shadows of Peter’s past, and the legacy of the Holocaust. Peter, though he loves his family, still suffers from a grief so strong he is unable to truly move on; June struggles with the weight of competing with a woman, a ghost, that she feels she will never be able to live up to; and Elsbeth, now a young woman, becomes increasingly more aware of the family that came before her.

Spanning across three decades, this emotional story touches on many different aspects, such as how love and grief are not always defined from each other, the excitement and power of new love, placed in a city that is still evolving. With seemingly endless compassion, Blum layers three different narratives on top of each other, creating a beautiful tapestry of family and marriage after World War II: bittersweet, charming, elegant, yet suffering from aftershocks that have yet to be named.

The Lost Family is now available for purchase


Photo by Madeline Houpt

Jenna Blum is the New York Times and number one international bestselling author of the novels Those Who Save Us and The Stormchasers. She was also voted one of the favorite contemporary women writers by readers. Jenna is based in Boston, where she earned her MA from Boston University and has taught fiction and novel workshops for Grub Street Writers for twenty years. For more about Jenna, please visit