Bending Toward the Sun: A Mother and Daughter Memoir

( 6 )

Overview

A miraculous lesson in courage and recovery, Bending Toward the Sun tells the story of a unique family bond forged in the wake of brutal terror.

Rita Lurie was five years old when she was forced to flee her home in Poland to hide from the Nazis in a cramped, dark attic with fourteen members of her family. Young Rita watched her younger brother and her mother die before her eyes. But the tragedy of the Holocaust was only the beginning of Rita's ...

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Bending Toward the Sun

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Overview

A miraculous lesson in courage and recovery, Bending Toward the Sun tells the story of a unique family bond forged in the wake of brutal terror.

Rita Lurie was five years old when she was forced to flee her home in Poland to hide from the Nazis in a cramped, dark attic with fourteen members of her family. Young Rita watched her younger brother and her mother die before her eyes. But the tragedy of the Holocaust was only the beginning of Rita's story.

Decades later, Rita's daughter Leslie began probing the traumatic events of her mother's childhood to discover how Rita's pain has affected not only Leslie's life and outlook but that of her own daughter, Mikaela, as well. The result is Bending Toward the Sun, a collaboration between mother and daughter that brings together the stories of three generations of a family to understand the legacy that unites, inspires, and haunts them all.

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Editorial Reviews

Arianna Huffington
“BENDING TOWARD THE SUN is a captivating memoir that explores a complicated, loving, and enduring mother-daughter bond, and reveals how doubts, hopes, and dreams are handed down from generation to generation. As both a mother and a daughter, I found it deeply touching.”
Rabbi - David Wolpe
"Here is a memoir that takes us through many worlds, through heartache and noble hopes, through the mysteries of family love and toward a beautiful, light filled conclusion. Read BENDING TOWARD THE SUN and enrich your life."
Rabbi - Irving Greenberg
"Gripping, exhausting, exciting, devastating—this book is at times hard to read but always impossible to put down. "
Dick Wolf
“BENDING TOWARD THE SUN is . . . bolstered by writing that is compelling and sensitive, the book transcends the holocaust genre with its multi-generational point of view on the ultimate effect of fear and evil on young minds.”
Rabbi David Wolpe
“Here is a memoir that takes us through many worlds, through heartache and noble hopes, through the mysteries of family love and toward a beautiful, light filled conclusion. Read BENDING TOWARD THE SUN and enrich your life.”
Rabbi Irving Greenberg
“Gripping, exhausting, exciting, devastating—this book is at times hard to read but always impossible to put down. ”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061776724
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/7/2010
  • Pages: 357
  • Sales rank: 752,853
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

A writer, lawyer, and former executive at NBC, Leslie Gilbert-Lurie is a member and former president of the Los Angeles County Board of Education and a teacher of Holocaust studies. A founding board member and past president of the nonprofit Alliance for Children's Rights, she has worked at a major Los Angeles law firm, served as a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals law clerk, and is a member of the board of directors for several nonprofit organizations, including the Los Angeles Music Center. Recently Leslie was appointed by the mayor of Los Angeles to a panel to devise a new cultural plan for the city. She is a recipient of the American Jewish Congress's Tzedek Award for Outstanding Commitment to Civil Rights, Civil Liberties, and Justice, and the Alliance for Children's Rights Child Advocate of the Year Award. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband, two children, and stepson.

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Table of Contents

Prologue 1

Part I In Mom's Voice (1937-1960)

1 Childhood, Interrupted 11

2 Stashik Is Coming 27

3 Safe for the Moment 34

4 Where Is God? 45

5 Far from Normal 52

6 Good-bye Urzejowice 61

7 Una Situazione Molto Grave 72

8 A Taste of Freedom 80

9 The Greenhorns 92

10 But We Just Got Used to It Here 101

11 Utterly Demoralized 114

12 I Might Even Marry Him 128

13 A Wonderful Mother 143

Part II My Own Voice (1960-1997)

14 On My Watch 157

15 Bread Crumbs 163

16 Magical Distractions 170

17 I Do Understand 175

18 Sunday Inquisitions 179

19 Time to Say "I Love You" 186

20 A Word Game 193

21 Society of Overachieving Offspring of Holocaust Survivors 199

22 Team Leah 207

23 "Just Jump" 216

24 It's Not That Kind of Thing 225

25 Inside NBC 231

26 The Most Beautiful Woman in the Attic 237

27 Water Your Garden 259

28 The Present I Needed to Appreciate 269

Part III A Joint Venture (1997-2008)

29 Maybe I Should Write It 283

30 Feelings of a Deprived Child 301

31 I Tried My Best 307

32 Ma of the Grand 315

33 A Deluxe Buffet 321

34 Mikaela: Different from Other Kids My Age 328

35 Rita: Lessons to Be Learned 333

36 The Abyss 337

37 Legacy 347

Acknowledgments 353

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 10 of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2012

    New perspective

    Love that this bookexplains what can happen to families after the war. Strongly recommend this one!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 24, 2010

    Review of Bending Toward the Sun

    I received this book from FSB Media in exchange for my review.

    I normally try to steer clear of historical recounts, but when I read the summary for Bending Toward the Sun on the FSB Media website, it intrigued me. ?To actually read about what occurred to an actual survivor of a terrible historical event and how it affected her future generations was something I couldn't pass up ... and I'm glad I didn't.

    We've all heard of the story of Anne Frank when we were in school. While terrifying, her story has lost its affect on me. This book has restored my awe of the horrific events of the Holocaust. To live through a time where a leader as powerfully evil as Hitler is beyond my imagination. Although anything is possible and something like that COULD happen again ... it's hard to picture it actually taking place.

    Reading the accounts of three generations of women who are either directly or inadvertently affected by the Holocaust has been enlightening. Even though Leslie and her daughter, Mikaela, were not alive during the time of the Holocaust, they have been genetically disposed to the fear with which Rita now lives her life. I began to wonder ... "How many generations is it going to take until an offspring is born in their family without a fear of life?"

    Yes, bad things happen to good people. Yes, there are evil people who will use others' differences for their own personal selfish gain. While I understand the fear Rita has acquired concerning living, I don't understand how a person could let that fear control them every day. My not understanding undoubtedly lies in the fact that I've not lived through a horrific event parallel to the Holocaust. Or, in the fact that my immediate family has never lived through such an event.

    In essence, this book has opened my eyes and given me a deeper look into and a deeper understanding of the Holocaust victims. It has also reaffirmed my belief that we should never judge a person by how they look on the outside. We should treat EVERYONE, no matter the race, color or religion, with respect because we never know what they've been through or what they're currently going through.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2012

    Rebecca

    Sits on her pet polar bear's back. "I should come up witha name for you. How about Mark?" The polar bear nods and licks her face. She bends the saliva away and thinks about what to do next.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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