Jewish News Virginia: Neville Frankel to Speak at Book Festival


Jewish News Virginia
September 30, 2013:

The book took 10 years to write — partially because its author is a top-scoring wealth manager in the Boston area and because he is a passionate painter in his spare time. It also took so long because Bloodlines, an engrossing novel about South Africa, the history, the people and their struggles through decades of fighting for justice against the Apartheid system, required intense research and imagination.

Sometime in his 40s, Frankel began to read more and more about the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, and wondered about others (many of whom were also Jewish), who put themselves at risk. He wondered what life would have been like if he and his family had stayed. “I realized there was a story to be told here,” he says. “I needed to go back, and my family actually convinced me to make this journey.”

For the first time in nearly 40 years, Frankel traveled to South Africa in 2005. “I felt a sense of returning, of completion, but I needed to tell a story about all I left behind,” he says. “And so I created a story in my mind.”

Bloodlines is about a boy who leaves South Africa with his father. The story he is told about his mother and the past is a lie. His mother faced agonizing choices, especially the decision to stay in South Africa as a fugitive, and forfeit her relationship with her son. The truth unfolds during the book, along with deep and emotional family secrets. “It’s about how we get caught up in political and economic events that are bigger than we are, and how they can destroy our lives,” he says.