A son learns more about his father than he ever could have imagined when a mysterious piece of art is unexpectedly restored to himAfter receiving an unexpected call from the Australian consulate, Matt Santos becomes aware of a painting that he believes was looted from his family in Hungary during the Second World War. To recover the painting, he must repair his strained relationship with his harshly judgmental father, uncover his family history, and restore his connection to his own Judaism. Along the way to illuminating the mysteries of his past, Matt is torn between his doting girlfriend, Tracy, and his alluring attorney, Rachel, with whom he travels to Budapest to unearth the truth about the painting and, in turn, his family.As his journey progresses, Matt's revelations are accompanied by equally consuming and imaginative meditations on the painting and the painter at the center of his personal drama, Budapest Street Scene by Ervin Kalman. By the time Memento Park reaches its conclusion, Matt's narrative is as much about family history and father-son dynamics as it is about the nature of art itself, and the infinite ways we come to understand ourselves through it.Of all the questions asked by Mark Sarvas's Memento Park--about family and identity, about art and history--a central, unanswerable predicament lingers: How do we move forward when the past looms unreasonably large?...
|Number of Pages||:||288 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Memento » Memento Park|
Memento Park Reviews
I got an advanced copy of Memento Park and LOVED IT. The writing is exquisite -- elegant, restrained, and powerful, and the novel's secrets are so skillfully and satisfyingly revealed. I was deeply moved, especially by the ending, which was beautifully executed. Matt (the main character) is a complicated, believable, messy person, and the female characters are similarly well-drawn. I fell into this remarkable book. Read it!
There is a lot going on in this relatively slim book. The main character is involved in a quest to gain ownership of a holocaust era painting that may (or may not) have belonged to his family. The quest, of course, is much more complex than that, involving his search for belonging, for membership in a larger group, and even a search for identity. His closest relationships are complicated and yet somehow superficial. I found it interesting that each of those relationships can be symbolized by art ...more
A haunting elegy about fathers and sons, faith, and a painting with a past. Beautifully written and quir moving.
Contemplative.Insightful.Humorous.Bittersweet...These are all the adjectives that come to mind upon finishing this complex novel. While on the surface it appears to be about a second generation Jewish Hungarian American who despite knowing little about Judaism finds himself a recipient of a famous painting. This painting was taken from his family's home and under the restitution act, will soon make him a very rich man. He travels to Europe and around the US to uncover its story and how it fits i ...more
A terrific page turner mystery, actually many mysteries woven into one. Sarvas shows he is a master storyteller, the entire story a flashback that builds the supporting storylines into a thrilling and surprising climax.
I found Sarvas’ exploration of the main character’s relationship with his father a compelling and thick mystery of its own, aside from and combined with the mystery surrounding the painting. It led me to see my parents in a new light.
Now that I’ve discovered his writing I’m eager ...more
Matt Santos is standing in an auction hall, looking at a picture, Budapest Street Scene by Ervin Kálmán. It will be sold the next day and he is ruminating about how this picture came to let him know more about his family than he ever did before and how it changed his life completely. His father had warned him about it, told him to let go, not to pursue the case any further, but he wouldn’t listen. So he is standing there on his own, alone, with his thoughts about his ex-girl-friend Tracy, whom h ...more
There were many reasons I requested this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was born and raised in Hungary, I am Jewish and my family lost many members during the Holocaust. I grew up in communist Hungary and left for America way before the fall of communism. I have been back a few times after the fall, I have been to Memento Park, the title of this novel and I have seen the shoe memorial at the shore of the Danube.
So, this book was very special for me for all the above rea ...more
Memento Park is a story of restitution, of a man seeking to recover a painting he believes was looted from his family in Hungary during World War II. This art themed novel revolves around "Budapest Street Scene" painted by Hungarian Ervin Laszlo Kalman, history and relationships - between father and son, between client and lawyer, between Matt and his girlfriend Tracy and more.
Memento Park takes on questions of authenticity and identity. This novel is full of painting references, some authentic ...more