Michal’s Destiny


Roberta Kagan’s “Michal’s Destiny” series paints a vivid portrait of lives upended by the tumultuous events of the early to mid-20th century. Book 1 begins in 1919 Siberia, where Michal, a young Jewish girl, escapes a Cossack pogrom and a prearranged marriage, embarking on a journey to Berlin. Over the years, she faces love, loss, and secrets against the backdrop of the Weimar Republic, with her life increasingly threatened by the rise of Adolf Hitler and the impending danger to Jews.

Book 2 sees Michal and her husband, Tavvi, building a life filled with love and understanding, only to have their world shattered during Kristallnacht in 1938. The violence of that night leads to Tavvi’s disappearance, leaving Michal clinging to hope amidst devastation.

In Book 3, the focus shifts to Gilde Margolis, Michal’s daughter, who is sent to London via Kindertransport after her parents’ arrest. As she grows up during wartime, she experiences love and betrayal while holding onto the hope of reuniting with her family.

The series concludes in Book 4 with the fall of the Reich. The narrative follows the survivors, altered by war, as they strive to reconnect with their loved ones. The story encapsulates the journey of characters like Lotti, facing the Russian invasion in Berlin, Alina, a successful businesswoman in America worried about her family, and Gilde, a successful actress in London longing for her lost family.

Throughout, Kagan skillfully intertwines personal sagas with the broader historical context, highlighting the resilience and enduring hope of individuals amid the horrors unleashed by Hitler’s regime.