Memento Park by Mark Sarvas

Memento Park

A son learns more about his father than he ever could have imagined when a mysterious piece of art is unexpectedly restored to himAfter receiving an unexpected call from the Australian consulate, Matt Santos becomes aware of a painting that he believes was looted from his family in Hungary during the Second World War. To recover the painting, he must repair his strained relationship with his harshly judgmental father, uncover his family history, ...


Details Memento Park

TitleMemento Park
ISBN9780374206376
Author
Release DateMar 13th, 2018
PublisherFarrar Straus and Giroux
GenreFiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, Art, World War II, Holocaust, Literary Fiction, Cultural, Hungary
Rating

Reviews Memento Park

  • Angela M
    2018-04-02
    There have been a number of books published these last few years about a lost and found painting which becomes the link between a past and present narrative. At first I wasn’t sure if I was up for another one like this, but the book description promised more. I’m glad I took a chance because I wasn’t disappointed. It’s about a lost and found relationship between a father and a son and about the loss and discovery of a man’s identity whe...
  • Elyse
    2018-04-05
    Audiobook- narrated by David Ledoux was a ‘perfect/terrific’ choice for this novel . David Ledoux .....( must give this narrator credit), became more than a voice for Matt Santos, a secular Jewish protagonist. He makes it abundantly clear that under the gruff, sardonic exterior of Matt, under his sarcasm, and occasionally self-loathing, Matt was troubled by his personal life, - [past and present] - his professional life....his relationships w...
  • Diane S ☔
    2018-04-24
    A painting by Ervin Kalman, titled a Budapest Street scene looted by the Nazis, is the background of this novel. Matt, a young Jewish man who is out of touch with his faith, is contacted by a lawyer, telling him this painiting, traced back to his family, has been found. What he cannot understand is his father, who came to America from Hungary, doesn't want anything to do with this endeavor. A father who he has a estranged relationship with but do...
  • PattyMacDotComma
    2018-04-11
    4.5★“ . . . and I can only think about all I have squandered, the astonishing lack of care with which I have blundered through life. So much beyond recovery, things that can never be restored, truths devoured by time, by neglect.”Matt Santos is sitting in an auction house, after closing time, in front of the painting around which the people in this story revolve. The very existence of the painting, where it came from, and to whom it belongs...
  • Kathleen
    2018-03-14
    Memento Park is a story of restitution, of a man seeking to recover a painting he believes was looted from his family in Hungary during World War II. This art themed novel revolves around "Budapest Street Scene" painted by Hungarian Ervin Laszlo Kalman, history and relationships - between father and son, between client and lawyer, between Matt and his girlfriend Tracy and more. Memento Park takes on questions of authenticity and identity. This no...
  • Nancy
    2018-03-05
    Each book we read takes us on a different journey--and, this will be a trip I remember for a long, long time. Mark Sarvas' novel was both troubling and compelling and I found myself reading it very quickly because I needed (not wanted, but truly needed) to know its outcome. BUT, when I finished reading the contemplation began.This is a book to savor---maybe in its aftermath, like I am doing., or perhaps as you are reading it. The relationships be...
  • Kati Berman
    2018-01-28
    There were many reasons I requested this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was born and raised in Hungary, I am Jewish and my family lost many members during the Holocaust. I grew up in communist Hungary and left for America way before the fall of communism. I have been back a few times after the fall, I have been to Memento Park, the title of this novel and I have seen the shoe memorial at the shore of the Danube. So, this ...
  • Judy Churchill
    2018-03-15
    Let me first say this is not a book I would have chosen to read but I ended up LOVING it. It is about a man’s earnest look at his Jewish roots, his relationship with his father, and his own claim to adulthood and meaning. The novel’s first person style is enchanting. It is altogether a worthwhile story and a must read.
  • Caeli Wolfson
    2017-12-19
    This book shines on every level: sentence after sentence is beautiful and precise, the characters are complicated and sympathetic, the ideas are sweeping and profound but never bear down too overtly on the reader. It's a rare novel that is as accomplished in its "meaning" as it is in its pure, old-fashioned storytelling while ALSO succeeding wildly at the language level...but MEMENTO PARK does it all. It's about history, about the lies we inhabit...
  • Candace
    2018-01-21
    This is a wonderfully written novel that offers a new take on the issue of art looted from Jewish families during WWII. Matt is set on the path of proving provenance of a painting found in Australia that is believed to have belonged to his family before the war. Matt's a working actor, pretty scattered about his career, his father, Judaism, and his relationships with others in general. He's not sure he cares about this painting for anything but t...
  • Dave
    2018-02-13
    This story morphs and disguises throughout, an occasional love story, a story of faith, the complications of a father son relationship, and the recently rediscovered painting "Budapest street scene" which has it own story. There were moments of sheer brilliance, I really enjoyed the moments when Mark directly addresses Virgil, a security guard at the auctioneers house, and the device the author uses to feel we are being directly communicated to a...
  • Marcy
    2018-04-05
    4.5 - I was absorbed by this book from the first page. The story revolves around the recovery of a painting stolen by the Nazis from a Hungarian family.Although the concept is not original, the storytelling in this book is. Told in the first person, full of self reflection, it very much feels like real memory; not linear but in pieces that are often humorous and heartwarming. The characters are all fully flushed and interesting, and the backdrop ...
  • Rich Szabo
    2018-03-29
    A terrific page turner mystery, actually many mysteries woven into one. Sarvas shows he is a master storyteller, the entire story a flashback that builds the supporting storylines into a thrilling and surprising climax.I found Sarvas’ exploration of the main character’s relationship with his father a compelling and thick mystery of its own, aside from and combined with the mystery surrounding the painting. It led me to see my parents in a new...
  • Zachary Houle
    2018-03-15
    As a book blogger, sometimes you take chances on seemingly unknown authors and their works with the hopes that you might be blown away. Well, I took a chance on Mark Sarvas’ Memento Park and I’m elated that I did. This compact yet dense novel is about memory, religion, family, relationships, betrayal, art and so much more — but is immensely readable and relatable. Focusing on a modern-day C-list Hollywood actor named Matthew Santos (not...
  • Mark
    2018-03-11
    A single Jewish man, Matt Santos, an actor in LA, is torn between a blond gentile swimsuit model and a wavy-haired devout Jewish attorney. (Is that a dated, or classic, conflict for a Jewish male protagonist?) Also, he may be able to sell for millions a painting (by an invented artist) stolen by Nazis, which has fallen into his life, if he can show it once belonged to his family. And his distant, gambling, volatile dad has a random hobby of tradi...
  • Kathleen Gray
    2018-03-01
    While this did not resonate with me the way I suspect it will with others, it's a well written novel of a man coming to terms with his own family history and with his father. Matt's world changes when he is contacted about a painting taken from his family during the Holocaust and travels to Hungary. The novel is framed in terms of Matt's rumination about the painting and life. It is indeed a book of self discovery and has some good points to make...
  • Jennifer Carson
    2017-10-21
    I got an advanced copy of Memento Park and LOVED IT. The writing is exquisite -- elegant, restrained, and powerful, and the novel's secrets are so skillfully and satisfyingly revealed. I was deeply moved, especially by the ending, which was beautifully executed. Matt (the main character) is a complicated, believable, messy person, and the female characters are similarly well-drawn. I fell into this remarkable book. Read it!
  • Ellen
    2018-04-19
    Mark Savras has written an unforgettable novel in "Memento Park", which is centered around Matt's relationship with his father, which is complex and vacillates between love and intense dislike. Other plot lines include the restoration to Matt's family of a painting by a Hungarian-Jewish painter whose life was destroyed by the Nazi takeover of Hungary during World War II; the artist committed suicide before the occupation of Budapest took place, a...
  • Dara Markowitz
    2018-05-12
    first person , virtually a monologue. More about making peace with your past and your relationships. "Just because you know what someone will do, doesn't mean to know who they are" Hashkiveinu Could be a Jewish book club read
  • Mainlinebooker
    2018-04-19
    Contemplative.Insightful.Humorous.Bittersweet...These are all the adjectives that come to mind upon finishing this complex novel. While on the surface it appears to be about a second generation Jewish Hungarian American who despite knowing little about Judaism finds himself a recipient of a famous painting. This painting was taken from his family's home and under the restitution act, will soon make him a very rich man. He travels to Europe and ar...
  • Laura
    2018-04-10
    This was just phenomenal writing. I honestly would have a hard time choosing to read this book if I were to give a summary or description, so I don't feel equipped to give a review. However, I highly recommend it and will be checking out Sarvas' other writing.
  • Elizabeth
    2018-04-02
    “It’s possible to spend an entire life looking at something, and, even then, fail to behold it in any meaningful way. “ This is more like three and a half stars(the second half is not quite as strong as the first half), but I haven’t enjoyed the writing in a book this much in a long time. Matt, the main character believes he has a claim to a painting that was taken by the Nazis right before Hungary fell to the Germans. Matt does not know ...
  • Liz
    2018-02-26
    https://cavebookreviews.blogspot.com/Mark Santos, born Mathias Santos, is a successful character actor living in Los Angeles with his fiance, Tracy, who is a sought-after catalog model. Mark and Tracy's careers aren't unusual for people who live in L.A., the hub of the entertainment industry in the USA. Mark Sarvas's new novel, MEMENTO PARK, is a vibrant rendition of a family who fled Hungary just as Hitler was about to overtake the country. The ...
  • Peter
    2018-04-03
    A haunting elegy about fathers and sons, faith, and a painting with a past. Beautifully written and quir moving.
  • miss.mesmerized mesmerized
    2018-03-11
    Matt Santos is standing in an auction hall, looking at a picture, Budapest Street Scene by Ervin Kálmán. It will be sold the next day and he is ruminating about how this picture came to let him know more about his family than he ever did before and how it changed his life completely. His father had warned him about it, told him to let go, not to pursue the case any further, but he wouldn’t listen. So he is standing there on his own, alone, wi...
  • Kate
    2018-03-23
    This book was a surprise on so many levels. It takes not only the characters on a journey-but you yourself. There is the main plot-an issue about art restitution. And there are subplots-the main character and the relationship with his father. And then his relationship with everyone else. The main plot keeps the book moving at a good pace. The subplots hit you in the gut when you least expect it. I lost my Dad 8 years ago and it was amazing how on...
  • Natalie
    2018-01-11
    I am a Hungarian Jew. Matt’s journey is my journey. Can I write a review of this book, which I found so deeply moving that is not colored by my own experiences? I doubt it. So, with that being said, I was extremely taken with Matt’s trip to his family roots in Hungary. Sarvas has written a beautiful novel about self-discovery by dealing with family history. The catalyst for his journey was the attempt to discover the true owner of a valuable ...
  • Vickie
    2018-03-18
    Matt Santos, a non practicing Jew and minor character actor in LA engaged to a model, is contacted by the Australian consulate because he might be the rightful owner of a painting that may have been stolen from his family in Budapest during World War II. Inexplicably, his father, with whom he has never had a loving relationship, will not discuss the painting or the family’s rightful ownership. With the assistance of an attorney, the devout Rach...
  • Marni Switzer
    2018-03-22
    I loved this book because the main character was likeable despite his flaws, the story was engaging, and despite the foreshadowing I didn’t see the ending coming. A great read.
  • Melissa Dee
    2018-03-16
    There is a lot going on in this relatively slim book. The main character is involved in a quest to gain ownership of a holocaust era painting that may (or may not) have belonged to his family. The quest, of course, is much more complex than that, involving his search for belonging, for membership in a larger group, and even a search for identity. His closest relationships are complicated and yet somehow superficial. I found it interesting that ea...