THE NIGHT TRAVELERS
By: Armando Lucas Correa
Published: January 10, 2023
Publisher: Atria Books
Beginning in 1931 Berlin, Ally Keller gives birth to a daughter, Lillith. Hitler’s army has already started to infiltrate Berlin and make living there difficult for Jews and those who are considered to be inferior, like Lillith. Lillith has a white mother and a black father. Even though she is light-skinned her features and curly hair give her away. Ally and Lillith have learned to travel at night under the cover of darkness. Just as she is about to be sterilized as part of Hitler’s orders, Ally sends her across the ocean with another family. What follows is a story of generations of women who have constantly had to fight for the right to live and give up what they love most of all.
She was traveling at dusk now, she, who had always been a night traveler. By night, we’re all the same color, she said to herself.
Lillith grows up in Havana, Cuba but not without struggles. As she marries and gives birth to a daughter, Cuba is also facing a crisis. It’s 1958, and Lillith must decide what is best for Nadine while the country is being taken over and her father is in custody. Lillith decides to send Nadine to a family in America hoping for a safer life for her daughter.
I learned that sometimes the only way to save what you love the most is by abandoning it.
From Ally to Lillith to Nadine to Luna, four generations of women have fought to stay alive in war-ravaged cities. These women sacrificed to save the ones they loved the most, some not even realizing the extent of their suffering. As each story is told, we see the tenacity of the previous generation shine through in the younger women. As Luna and Nadine return to Germany, Nadine works to preserve the memories and remains of those murdered by the Nazis. What she finds will change her and Luna’s life forever.
In order to share stories of four women across generations, the story must move quickly through each one. I thought the author gave the reader just enough insight into the lives of these women while also detailing the atrocities happening in the community around them. History buffs will love being part of multiple parts of history happening all over the world. Those who love historical fiction will appreciate the connections made across generations and the life-changing reveal at the end of the story.
Armando Lucas Correa is a Cuban writer. Correa is the recipient of various outstanding achievement awards from the National Association of Hispanic Publications and the Society of Professional Journalism. Recently, he was awarded the Cintas Foundation Fellowship in Creative Writing. THE NIGHT TRAVELERS is his third novel. He lives in Manhattan with his husband and their three children.