cover image Lilli’s Quest

Lilli’s Quest

Lila Perl. Ig/Skurnick (Consortium, dist.), $12.95 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1

In Perl’s final book, a companion to Isabel’s War (2014), the author tells the harrowing saga of Lilli, a Jewish refugee racked with guilt over leaving her family behind in Germany during Hitler’s reign. Assuming the identity of her younger sister, Helga, who is unable to leave Germany via the Kindertransport due to an injury, Lilli is taken to England, where she works hard in a no-frills farmhouse to earn her keep. Eventually, she travels to America to stay with her aunt and uncle; although life is easier in New York City (where she meets Isabel from the previous book), Lilli still faces obstacles, prejudices, and loneliness, while wondering about the fates of her loved ones. After the fighting stops, Lilli realizes that she may be the lone survivor of her immediate family and determines to find out the truth. Lilli emerges as a stoic, courageous heroine, who slowly learns to rely on strangers for support. Perl recounts her traumas in unsentimental terms, yet readers will feel close to Lilli’s sorrow as she forges ahead on an unfamiliar path. Ages 12–up. (Nov.)