Memento Park

Memento Park Review

A son learns more about his father than he ever could have imagined when a mysterious piece of art is unexpectedly restored to him

After 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, and restore his connection to his own Judaism. Along the way to illuminating the mysteries of his past, Matt is torn between his doting girlfriend, Tracy, and his alluring attorney, Rachel, with whom he travels to Budapest to unearth the truth about the painting and, in turn, his family.

As his journey progresses, Matt's revelations are accompanied by equally consuming and imaginative meditations on the painting and the painter at the center of his personal drama, Budapest Street Scene by Ervin Kalman. By the time Memento Park reaches its conclusion, Matt's narrative is as much about family history and father-son dynamics as it is about the nature of art itself, and the infinite ways we come to understand ourselves through it.

Of all the questions asked by Mark Sarvas's Memento Park--about family and identity, about art and history--a central, unanswerable predicament lingers: How do we move forward when the past looms unreasonably large?

Title:Memento Park

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Angela M

    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 a...

  • Elyse

    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...

  • Diane S ?

    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, ...

  • PattyMacDotComma

    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, tru...

  • Kathleen

    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 St...

  • Nancy

    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 qu...

  • Kati Berman

    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 gre...

  • Judy Churchill

    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...

  • Caeli Wolfson

    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 o...

  • Candace

    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 t...