Friday, October 4, 2013

Florian's Gate

Author: Davis Bunn
Publisher: Hendrickson 
May 1992 – reissued 2013
ISBN: 978-1-61970-066-6
Genre: Suspense
341 pages.

As the main entrance to the medieval city of Cracow, Poland, centuries of history have passed through Florian's Gate. But for Alexander Kantor, now a successful antiques dealer in London, the place holds only one memory. It was here that he was arrested by the Nazis as a young man. There he passed from freedom to imprisonment; there began a lifetime of challenges to his heritage, his well-being, his relationships and his faith.

Through dramatic events spanning fifty years, FLORIANS GATE follows members of a war-torn Polish family as they come to terms with their circumstances and the choices that divided them. Set in the luxurious trappings of today's London and the turbulent economies of Eastern Europe, the mysterious disappearance of an antiques dealer causes Alexander to travel back to his homeland. He did not suspect that the trail would ultimately lead to FLORIANS GATE and the discovery of a treasure of infinite value. 

George Santayana declcared, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

But what happens when you cannot make peace with the past?

What happens when the past has such an iron grip, that it actually controls your present, and dictates your future?

Ask that question of Jeffrey, a former corporate suit, turned antiques dealer by a chance meeting with family he'd never known he had. A young man who has locked up his past, and thrown away the key.

Ask that question of Katya, the one woman Jeffrey desperately loves, and whose past refuses to allow her to love in return.

Ask that question of Viktor, Jeffrey's mentor in the ethereal, gritty world of antiquities acquisitions. A man whose life was defined by a number from an early age, and whose memories are the stuff of nightmares.

When American Jeffrey Sinclair starts a new life in London assisting in a high-end antique shop, he discovers that more than good salesmanship to wealthy customers is required. As Jeffrey learns the business and becomes more involved in searching out valuable pieces across Europe, he discovers that the source of the antiques is not the only secret Alexander is hiding.

Davis Bunn lifts the veil from a world that most of us have never even considered, even as he deals with those aspects of life that many have never come to terms with. His research is, as usual, meticulous. His lessons are, as usual, life-altering. You'll come to love Jeffrey, Katya, and Viktor as really good friends, as they each make peace with their past through the only means possible.

I received FLORIANS GATE from Book Fun Magazine.

5 stars

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