The Most Precious of Cargoes

Jean-Claude Grumberg

£12.99

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Pan Macmillan
21 January 2021
ISBN: 9781529019568
Hardback

From the publisher

'A magnificent small book to read urgently' Liberation

Once upon a time in an enormous forest, there lived a poor woodcutter and his wife. Around them a war wages, and hunger is a constant companion. Yet every night, the woodcutter's wife prays for a child.

A Jewish father rides on a train holding twin babies. His wife no longer has enough milk to feed both children. In hopes of saving them both, he wraps his daughter in a shawl and throws her into the forest.

While foraging for food, the woodcutter's wife finds a bundle, a baby girl wrapped in a shawl. She knows that this little girl will be hunted, but she cannot ignore this gift: she will accept the precious cargo, and raise her as her own.

Set against the horrors of the Holocaust and told with a fairytale-like lyricism, The Most Precious of Cargoes is a fable about family and redemption which reminds us that humanity can be found in the most inhumane of places.