The story line of a group of poor people crossing the border illegally and journeying into the wilderness to look for a happy place to live, and the story line of a police commissioner living in a fictional small town in Russia in a quest to find a spiritual identity and become a Jew came together in the masterful storytelling of the award winning Dutch author Tommy Wieringa.
The journey of illegal migrants was compared and contrasted to the Exodus mentioned in the Torah which the police commissioner was learning.
These are the Names portrays the pains, “the thicket of horrors”, the brutality, and the extreme illegal migrants could go to to survive. The novel sends a powerful and timely message about the migration crisis happening around the globe nowadays.
“His bottom lip quaked, and tears ran down his face. The Ethiopian had shown him the light of his soul, a bright light; he felt how it had crossed over to him, the way you light one candle with another. He covered his eyes with his hands and sobbed. Once in his lifetime, a person weeps because he sees through himself completely. Once in his life, he weeps because he knows he is beyond salvation.”