Book Blast: An Epiphany in Lilacs by Iris Dorbian

By Domoni

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Daniel is a survivor of the death camps. A young boy only 14 years old, he is tortured by the experiences he lived through. He is slowly recovering physically and mentally from the hellish existence, with no knowledge of if his family has lived or died, he has a few friends he was with in the camps and some from the hospital. Yet, he still is very alone. Nearly dead when he was liberated, the young man recovers slowly and his memories tell the tale of life as a Jew during the holocaust.

This is a beautiful, powerful story. As a Jew, I have read many stories of life during the holocaust, both fiction and non fiction. I very much appreciated the way this story was written. The author captured the beauty and pain in the life of this young survivor. With a respectful grace and a loving pen, the world depicted in this story brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my face. Daniel is an incredible character, surrounded by incredible characters. The world in this book is vivid and real. From the horrors of the death march to the beauty of the flowers in the garden, I was captured completely. Knowing this story was based on the life of the authors father may have added to the feelings the story evoked, yet the capable writing style and clarity made the story real to me.

I highly recommend this story and will look for further works by this talented author. I received an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

5 out of 5 stars.


An Epiphany In Lilacs is a young adult novel set in a DP camp outside Hamburg, Germany following the end of World War II. The author, Iris Dorbian, captures in this story a unique glimpse into the period after the Holocaust when survivors had to deal with their new realities for living, based on her father’s personal experience.

After liberation in May 1945, Daniel, a 14-year-old Latvian Jew, is treated in a field hospital in the British zone of partitioned Germany. A survivor of various concentration camps, Daniel fights to recover from starvation and disease. Racked by nightmares, a nearly nightly occurrence, Daniel finds sleep almost impossible. Through his love of nature, and pre-war memories, Daniel struggles to find comfort. He forms an intriguing bond with an older German gentile, another survivor. Later on, as he joins a theater troupe, Daniel tries to move on with his life, yet still searching for the whereabouts of his mother and two sisters. Poised on the cusp of a new life, young Daniel makes his way to the country that will become his new home.


As Daniel staggered into the latrine, he saw a ramshackle half mirror nailed haphazardly to the wall. Composed of lattices of wood, it was the only part of the hospital that looked like a construction afterthought. Either it was the first time it had been put in there or he never noticed it before, having other pressing things on his mind.

Daniel gasped. He looked like a fifty-five-year-old man. Everything about him reeked of lifelessness – from the opaque hazel eyes to the stooped posture resembling a fading, elderly gnome in the final throes of osteoporosis to the branches of bones sticking out through brittle veiny skin. Even his ears protruded with an extraterrestrial freakishness he found alarming. There was nothing youthful about him. His complexion was cadaverously sallow. No, it was worse than that. The flesh was imbued with a color no presumably alive human being could have. All vestiges of innocence were summarily robbed from him and what remained was the hollowed out hulk of a frightened, damaged old man-child.

Iris will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. 

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~~About the author~~


Iris Dorbian is a business and arts journalist whose articles have appeared in a wide number of outlets that include the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Venture Capital Journal, Buyouts, Investopedia, DMNews, Jerusalem Report, the Forward, Playbill, Backstage, Theatermania, Live Design, Media Industry Newsletter and PR News. From 1999 to 2007, Iris was the editor-in-chief of Stage Directions. She is the author of “Great Producers: Visionaries of the American Theater,” which was published by Allworth Press in August 2008. Her personal essays have been published in Blue Lyra Review, B O D Y, Embodied Effigies, Jewish Literary Journal, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Adanna Literary Journal,, Skirt! and Gothesque Magazine. A New Jersey native, Iris has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. You can friend her on Facebook .

Web Links:

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Contact info:

Buy Book Links

Amazon: Kindle, Paperback

Barnes & Noble:  available in paperback

Mazo Publishers:   available in paperback;  available in kindle

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