The Diamond Fund
The Diamond Fund by Philippa Annett is an extraordinary piece of historical fiction. Starting in Russian occupied Poland it describes the story of Murad Amrad Galperin, an Ashkenazi Jew from Lithuania, whose unfortunate dealings with a Russian Viscount force him to leave Europe.
Although I thought I knew some Jewish history in the nineteenth century, the book managed to teach me a lot of new perspectives. The history at that time is particularly rich with small but significant changes, and the Galperin family provides a very suitable vehicle to show the complexities and personal repercussions of historic developments on individuals. The book is well researched. It tells, with excellent detail and understanding, the political and cultural developments in Europe and more so in Palestine during that period. It contains a lot of facts worth knowing to understand the present situation in the region.
Annett has created great characters for her story and managed to span a wonderful arc from Poland to Palestine. It is a story of human survival, full of colour, rich in history, suspense and emotion. Very enjoyable.