The book’s research accounts are fascinating—a true treasure hunt through history, involving stumbling, learning on the ground, and sudden fortuitous reveals. But the bonds that De Perignon forms along the way are as heartening, including with family members whom she previously had little contact with, or with whom she had avoided the subject of the war, let alone spoliation ... arrives at a sense of delayed justice—but also at invaluable family reconnections.
De Perignon’s memoir is a robust addition to the growing genre of art restitution stories, the depiction of her own dogged quest to achieve some sort of justice for her family’s loss captured deftly ... Not all the mysteries of what happened to the Strauss collection are resolved in her quest, but de Perignon provides a satisfying tale of one person’s attempt to right a longstanding injustice and redeem a family’s heritage.
The author’s quest is undeniably intriguing, bringing to light the struggles that many Jewish families have endured—and continue to endure—in their attempts to reclaim artwork and other items taken by the Nazis. Some readers may find the often combative dynamics among the author’s family off-putting, and the prose is occasionally stilted; still, the story is memorable and often moving ... A fascinating journey to uncover lost family secrets—and treasure.