Firstly, I’d like to say thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an eCopy of this graphic novel in return for an unbiased review. This graphic novel based around the Jewish persecution in WWII is a little different from other novels on the subject, not only is the art within drawn in a more humorous manner than usual, but the perspective is from that of the victim’s son. Second Generation tells the story of how Jews who suffered at the hands of the Nazis had an impact on their family around them once the nightmare of the concentration camps was far in their past.
It was so interesting to read how Michel interpreted his fathers’ experiences and how he felt alienated from his father due to his decision to withhold and disclose certain varying aspects of his life history, depending on the situation and the timing. It also affected what he and his siblings felt they could do in their childhoods, so not to affect their father. He mentions that he feels like he never had the chance to experience teenage angst because his fathers’ opportunity was taken by the Nazis, and despite this being a small issue it really impacts an individuals childhood experience and how their personalities are shaped. There was, for someone who has no family history of being affected by the Nazis, a surprising amount of impact passed down the generations to those who weren’t even born when the Nazis were in power. This was very sad but very interesting to learn about.
I really enjoyed this graphic novel, and although I am biased as I have a fascination with anything based around WWII I genuinely think this will be a book enjoyed by a large number of people and one that should be promoted more. A five star read for me.