Bending Toward the Sun

Bending Toward the Sun

3.5 6
by Leslie Gilbert-Lurie
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

A beautifully written family memoir, Bending Toward the Sun explores an emotional legacy—forged in the terror of the Holocaust—that has shaped three generations of lives. Leslie Gilbert-Lurie tells the story of her mother, Rita, who like Anne Frank spent years hiding from the Nazis, and whose long-hidden pain shaped both her daughter and

See more details below

Overview

A beautifully written family memoir, Bending Toward the Sun explores an emotional legacy—forged in the terror of the Holocaust—that has shaped three generations of lives. Leslie Gilbert-Lurie tells the story of her mother, Rita, who like Anne Frank spent years hiding from the Nazis, and whose long-hidden pain shaped both her daughter and granddaughter’s lives. Bringing together the stories of three generations of women, Bending Toward the Sun reveals how deeply the Holocaust lives in the hearts and minds of survivors and their descendants.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

The lasting impact of the Holocaust on a survivor and her daughter emerges in this joint account by Lurie-Gilbert and her mother. Lurie was five when a farmer agreed to hide her along with 14 Polish-Jewish relatives in his attic in exchange for jewelry and furs. While in hiding, Lurie witnessed the Nazis shoot a cousin and an uncle; her younger brother and mother died in the stifling, stinking hideout (years later her daughter, Gilbert-Lurie, wonders if the boy was smothered to quiet him and if her grandmother died of a broken heart). After the war, in an Italian DP camp, Lurie's father remarried to a stepmother Lurie resented; her father became increasingly depressed and remote when their fractured and traumatized family relocated to Chicago; and deep depressions haunted Lurie's own otherwise happy marriage. Gilbert-Lurie in turn recalls her mother's overprotectiveness, her career as a TV executive, a 1988 visit to her mother's childhood village and her own guilt, anxiety and sadness. Although the voices and experiences expressed are valuable, the writing is adequate at best, with none of the luminosity of Anne Frank, to whom Gilbert-Lurie compares her mother. Photos. (Sept. 1)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
Los Angeles County Board of Education president Gilbert-Lurie teams with her mother in this occasionally unwieldy yet affecting memoir depicting how the deep psychological wounds from the Holocaust span three generations. The first and most vivid section is told in the voice of Rita Lurie, nee Ruchel Gamss, born in Urzejowice, Poland, to a family of Jews caught in the terrors of the Nazi invasion during World War II. By 1942 the Germans had occupied their remote town, and five-year-old Rita and her family were required to report to the train station for deportation. They split into groups to elude capture and persuaded a neighboring Polish farmer to harbor the group in their attic. Everyone believed the refuge was temporary, though they managed to hide out for two years-but not without casualties. Rita's toddler brother died, possibly from suffocation to keep him from crying, and Rita's mother died shortly thereafter. After liberation, they spent five years in displaced-persons camps, during which Rita's father remarried an Auschwitz survivor. The remaining Gamss family immigrated to America in 1949. Rita suffered from physical weakness and mental anguish for years, and her subsequent account records her painful attempts to come to terms with debilitating feelings of abandonment and anger at her controlling stepmother. In the second section of the book, her eldest daughter recalls growing up with her anxious mother and her own fears and the drive to succeed. Gilbert-Lurie's narrative is unavoidably less dramatic, except when she and her cousins returned to Poland in 1987 with a film crew to seek out the still-living Polish farmwife who hid the Jews. The third section, which introduces theauthor's daughter into the narrative, is more tedious, but the essential story remains riveting. A flawed memoir, but an amazing story of wartime survival. Agent: Larry Kirshbaum/LJK Literary Management

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061959196
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/01/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
674,867
File size:
4 MB

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >