Sentence of Death Denied
$9.99 – $19.99
The specter of the Holocaust is raised as a young teenage boy must confront his memories of a Nazi concentration camp. For him, it is a matter of life or death.
In 1950, ninth-grader Joe Kaufmann stumbles into a torrid, one-sided affair with band classmate Alyssa Broderick at Boynton Junior High School in Ithaca, New York. This seemingly sweet, fresh-faced hussy seduces Joe. He naively falls in love with her and is blind to her cruel manipulation.
Joe’s turbulent school year continues when in November, three students attack him when he refuses to cheat for them on a geometry test. Although he recovers physically from this brutal assault, his emotional state remains in tatters. Only after Christmas does he seem to get back on track. However, in April, he mysteriously disappears, and his family is panic-stricken to find him. When he is found eight days later, he is committed to a psychiatric hospital to treat his inexplicable amnesia.
The psychiatrist, Dr. Montgomery, delves into Joe’s memories of his childhood experiences at a Nazi concentration camp. Joe slides into depression and anorexia. He wants to commit suicide by starvation. With his guardian, Grayson Pierce, at his side, Joe is admitted to the Albany hospital, where the only goal is keeping him alive. Dr. Montgomery joins Grayson in trying to save Joe from himself. Assuming his memories had triggered his amnesia and flight from reality, Grayson and the psychiatrist hold onto Joe to keep him from joining the pitiful Holocaust victims who had died so many years ago.
When Joe mentions that he had been struck by an unknown student in the school cafeteria, giving him a concussion, the real cause for his flight from home and his amnesia are unveiled. And he learns bitterly that his toxic relationship with Alyssa Broderick had started all of this. Her bigoted, anti-Semitic views are uncloaked. Will he be able to step over this ugly episode and move on?