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I'll Keep You Close - Jeska Verstegen

I'll Keep You Close

By: Jeska Verstegen, Bill Nagelkerke (Translator)

Hardcover | 16 November 2021

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Jeska doesn’t know why her mother keeps the curtains drawn so tightly every day. And what exactly is she trying to drown out when she floods the house with Mozart? What are they hiding from?

When Jeska’s grandmother accidentally calls her by a stranger’s name, she seizes her first clue to uncovering her family’s past, and hopefully to all that’s gone unsaid. With the help of an old family photo album, her father’s encyclopaedia collection, and the unquestioning friendship of a stray cat, the silence begins to melt into frightening clarity: Jeska’s family survived a terror that they’ve worked hard to keep secret all her life. And somehow, it has both nothing and everything to do with her, all at once.

A true story of navigating generational trauma as a child, I’ll Keep You Close is about what comes after disaster: how survivors move forward, what they bring with them when they do, and the promise of beginning again while always keeping the past close.
Industry Reviews
"A lovely, poetic, stand-out coming of age story."-The Sydney Taylor Shmooze,

"Jeska's simple, straightforward voice...captures the melancholy mood of this quietly memorable story."-Booklist,

"A satisfying read... imbued with hidden grief and pain, but also with the quiet joys."-Publishers Weekly,

"This story adds a new perspective to the Holocaust for our young readers and would be a fine purchase for all upper elementary through high school libraries."-School Library Connection,

[STAR] "In its specificity, it finds the universal... . Multigenerational trauma artfully revealed from a child's point of view."-Kirkus Reviews (starred),

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