Thursday, September 9, 2010

Restitution by Kathy Kacer

Restitution is the true story of one families' struggle to escape Czechoslovakia right after Hitler's invasion. Marie Reeser, the matriarch of the family enlists the aid of her husband, Victor's non-Jewish business associate, Alois Jirak to help her hideaway the families' valuables to claim back later. He is also given power of attorney. A big part of the belongings were four paintings which, she adored. She then arranges for her two children, Karl and Hana and herself to meet up with her husband, Victor in France. From there, they escaped to Toronto, Ontario Canada.

Soon after the war ends, Marie and Victor return to Czechoslovakia, in part to reclaim the family's belongings, including paintings that Marie loves so much. The Communist party has taken over the family home and there is no way to re-claim it. However, Alois Jirak is still there but does not want to give up the paintings and with the Communist party taking over the country, Marie and Victor are forced to flee again, without the beloved paintings.

50 years later, well after Victor and Marie's death, their son Karl receives a letter from Alois Jirak's grandson. He says that he inherited four painting but found out that they are rightfully owned by the Reeser family and would like to return them if possible.

What follows is the story of how Karl finally gets the paintings back. It is a story of friendship, betrayal, an "honest" smuggler, and restitution. Told seamlessly in part memoir and part fiction by ghost writer, Kathy Kacer Ms. Kacer writes a suspenseful story that reads like a novel.

I highly recommend it!


Thanks to Annie Paikeday, Marketing/Editorial Intern for Second Story Press for this book.


  1. Sounds interesting! Not necessarily something I would pick up on my own, but your review has me intrigued!

  2. Audra, it was an intriguing story.

  3. It was wonderful to meet & photograph you at the JCC Jewish Book Fair. I have completed the images and they are now online
    I hope you love them!

    Take care, Talk to you later!
    Rebecca Pizzo