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Paula Hurwitz

Book Review: Emiliano's Discovery by Paula Hurwitz

by WJR, October 19, 2014



Paula Hurwitz, a lawyer born and raised in Winnipeg’s  Jewish community recently released her first novel Emiliano’s Discovery, a fictional story based on real events.




Emiliano’s Discovery follows the moving saga of Emiliano Edelman after he survives the 1994 bombing of the Jewish Community Centre in Buenos Aires. His girlfriend Lia dies in the bombing and Emiliano, along with his parents and her parents are riddled with guilt, anguish and anger.



Alongside, we follow the emotional impact the bombing has on Naomi, a student in Winnipeg. She is obsessed with the news surrounding the tragic event which is the deadliest attack against Jews outside of Israel since WWII.



Emiliano’s whole world has changed. Wanting a “fresh start, somewhere safe” he follows a hunch and moves to Winnipeg hoping to find some family members that may have moved there before the war. He studies law during the week and in his free time, armed with optimism and a background in history, he searches for any sign of his lost relatives.




In his previous job in Buenos Aires he “spent so much time unlocking the mysteries of strangers’ pasts. This could be his chance to learn more about where he came from.”



Naomi, a summer volunteer for the Jewish Federation, offers to help Emiliano navigate around Winnipeg and help him meet people in the close-knit Jewish community.




Through a series of coincidences and with fate on his side, Emiliano discovers more than just the answers to his genealogy mystery.



The idea for this book occurred to Hurwitz when she heard about Argentinean Jews moving to Winnipeg to escape economic and political hardship. She realized both these Jews and those native to Winnipeg might have come from the same area in Europe and her research proved her right.



In between freelance legal research and writing projects, she blogs about the books she reads, and has written short stories which have appeared in the Canadian Jewish News. Hurwitz currently lives in Toronto with her husband and two daughters.




The author makes the characters believable and relatable. It is hard for the reader not to get caught up in Emiliano’s emotional journey from tragedy to happiness. The book flows seamlessly from Argentina to Winnipeg and back a number of times. It is easily readable and provides accurate historical information as a backdrop to Emiliano’s personal story.



Emiliano’s Discovery is available as an e-book, in soft cover and in hard cover through Friesen Press,, itunes,,, at McNally Robinson bookstores and at the Winnipeg Rady JCC Annual Jewish Book fair which runs Sundays, November 25 & December 2: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Monday, November 26 to Thursday, November 29: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Friday, November 30: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.


Hurwitz's blog can be read at:

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