Tales of Innocence and Experience (Bloomsbury) is Eva Figes’s lyrical exploration of the bond between grandmother and granddaughter. In it she takes on the monumental subject of the loss and pain that accompany the acquisition of knowledge. An unusual tone and structure present a subtle, often abstract meditation on the ties of love and the way in which a young child forces a grandmother to confront the violent events that cut short her own relationship with her grandparents. Woven through this story are thoughts about the brutality of fairy tales, in which grandparental relationships are often crucial. At the start of the book, only metaphor and allusion hint at this family’s past, which includes emigration and the trauma of separation from friends, family, home. Near the end, the story finally becomes explicit, detailing the flight of a young girl and her parents from Nazi Germany. As the author faces reality, deconstructing her own strategies for coping with events too terrible to fathom, the reader joins the journey from innocence to experience, from the Garden of Eden to wisdom.