How To Hunt a Bear

“How to Hunt a Bear” is a historical novel centered on World War II events. It follows a Jewish family from 1939, as Nazis enter their village, and is revealed from three perspectives. Eighty-seven-year-old Itzhak, a nursing home resident in Jerusalem, seeks to document his family story; young Itzhak (Ichu) is seven years old at the beginning of the war; and Maya, a family history genealogist, finds that her research into the Hauzer family legacy changes her life.

As the story moves from 1939 Poland and first-person experiences and Jewish culture there to a grueling Russian winter in 1942, then to modern-day (2019) Holland. Changing places and times are clearly labeled in chapter headings which clarify the back-and-forth perspectives and shifting timelines that carry the family and readers from past to present. Modern characters attempt to understand their place in the family history based on newly emergent knowledge about the past, lending How to Hunt a Bear an excellent sense of interconnected heritages and Jewish cultural experiences.