In the King’s Arms

  • Review
By – October 31, 2011

Look­ing for a lit­tle romance? In the King’s Arms pro­vides a Romeo and Juli­et type sto­ry, stirs in Eng­lish coun­try life, poignant Holo­caust his­to­ry, and the strug­gle of two diver­gent insu­lar worlds try­ing to rec­on­cile their differences. 

Lily Taub, a beau­ti­ful, intel­li­gent Jew­ish Amer­i­can girl, is the daugh­ter of Holo­caust sur­vivors. Their hor­rif­ic expe­ri­ences have her dream­ing of sin­gle­hand­ed­ly fight­ing anti-Semi­tism, yet also yearn­ing for a more world­ly life. She leaves New York City for Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty and meets sophis­ti­cat­ed, bright, and upper class Peter. She then falls mad­ly in love with his charm­ing and hand­some younger broth­er, Julian. The enchant­ment and ear­ly stages of falling in love are beau­ti­ful­ly cap­tured. Lily is invit­ed to the fam­i­ly manor for Christ­mas break. There she encoun­ters Julian’s par­ents’ bla­tant anti-Semi­tism, is wit­ness to uncon­ven­tion­al fam­i­ly dynam­ics, and is enmeshed in a ter­ri­fy­ing acci­dent. The plot twists are pre­dictable at times, but do serve to advance the sto­ry to its hope­ful and ulti­mate conclusion. 

Sonia Taitz weaves a wit­ty, lit­er­ate, and heart­felt sto­ry filled with engag­ing char­ac­ters and rela­tion­ships. The read­er is moved by and invest­ed in Lily’s real­iza­tion of who she is, where she comes from, and her hopes for a more tol­er­ant and healed world.

Reni­ta Last is a mem­ber of the Nas­sau Region of Hadassah’s Exec­u­tive Board. She has coor­di­nat­ed the Film Forum Series for the Region and served as Pro­gram­ming and Health Coor­di­na­tors and as a mem­ber of the Advo­ca­cy Committee.

She has vol­un­teered as a docent at the Holo­caust Memo­r­i­al and Tol­er­ance Cen­ter of Nas­sau Coun­ty teach­ing the all- impor­tant lessons of the Holo­caust and tol­er­ance. A retired teacher of the Gift­ed and Tal­ent­ed, she loves par­tic­i­pat­ing in book clubs and writ­ing projects.

Discussion Questions