Where To Find Me

by Alba Arikha

Where to Find Me tells of the unlikely relationship between Hannah Keralis, a teenager living in Notting Hill, and her elderly neighbour, Flora Dobbs. They meet only fleetingly (the result of a misplaced house key one rainy winter evening), just long enough to ignite an affinity between them. Decades later, after Flora’s death, Hannah receives a package containing a handwritten memoir. She encounters her neighbour most intimately within the pages of a wire-bound notebook./p>

Flora’s tale begins guilelessly: “Jean is my first boyfriend. We are nineteen years old, students at the Sorbonne. We both want to be writers and change the world.” It is 1939. Flora senses “[t]he drip-drip of elimination. This is how it begins.” Her mother is sent to Drancy. Her father loses his mind. Flora survives in hiding. After the war, she goes to Palestine where she falls in love with a man who is outraged at British quotas that leave Jewish refugees stranded, unable to enter Palestine. He loathes the government that imposes them. In 1946, Flora witnesses the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, and learns of her lover’s involvement in the attack. Devastated, she moves to London, where she meets a married man whose son she bears but is forced to abandon. Her grief is such that she is treated for hysteria and receives electric shock therapy. She never stops looking for her son. Now Hannah is asked to continue the search./p>

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