Bending Toward the Sun: A Mother and Daughter Memoir

Bending Toward the Sun: A Mother and Daughter Memoir

by Leslie Gilbert-Lurie

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061776724
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/07/2010
Pages: 357
Sales rank: 1,027,242
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About 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.

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

What People are Saying About This

Irving Greenberg

“Gripping, exhausting, exciting, devastating—this book is at times hard to read but always impossible to put down. ”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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Bending Toward the Sun: A Mother and Daughter Memoir 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
MRShemery More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love that this bookexplains what can happen to families after the war. Strongly recommend this one!
ForSix on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This has to be one of the most unique memoirs I have ever read. It's a joint effort between Leslie Gilbert-Lurie and her mom, Holocaust survivor, Rita Lurie. What drew me toward Bending Toward the Sun is the detail that Mrs. Gilbert-Lurie in particular describes the dynamic of her family and the effect the Holocaust continues to have on them. The underlying theme of this memoir is whether grief and fear could be transferred from generation to generation. If that is true, I think it's safe to say that strength and courage is transferable too.Mrs. Lurie is truly inspiring. She is a survivor in every sense of the word. She is a woman who never had a childhood, who suffered such shocking loss at such a young age, yet learned to live a life full of joy. She took what she was given and made the best of it. She lived. I enjoyed reading both her account of her time during the war and also her daughter's memories of her. She was so brutally honest with herself at times, it was heartbreaking to read. She moved me to tears during her bouts of depression. I wanted to jump into the pages, lay down next her, cry into the pillow with her and comfort her in the way she needed but wouldn't allow anyone to give her. Mrs. Gilbert-Lurie did justice to her family. I have been fascinated by World War II for some time now however this is the first time I read a memoir from a Holocaust survivors point of view. She did a fantastic job of writing in a way that pity for Gamss family is the farthest thing from my mind. I was honored to get to know a family who did everything in their power to protect each other, to care for each other. This family did everything it took to survive and instill that will to survive in them all.My favorite part came towards the end of Bending Toward the Sun during an assembly held by Mrs. Lurie to her grandson Gabe's school. "The main message she tried to communicate was that while life was rarely perfect, individuals had the strength inside to overcome setbacks, to love instead of hate, and to influence others to be better human beings...(she) urged the students not to go along with what they knew was wrong, mean or destructive to themselves or others."And that is how you survive.
amusingmother on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book has essentially three parts plus one smaller one. The first part is told in Rita's voice. She tells of her childhood in Poland, a country that was largely populated by Jews. Her village was virtually unaffected by the Nazi invasion for the first couple of years. When the S.S. army arrived in approximately 1942, everything changed. As a very young child she and her family stay in an attic for two years. As previously mentioned, Rita witnesses the death of her brother and mother. She is deeply affected by these deaths.In 1944, when the Russians first conquered Poland, the families emerged from the attic and went from one Displaced Persons camp to another. Isaac, her father, remarries and they immigrate to the U.S. The second section of the book (according to me) is Rita's growing up years. The family lived in New York then moved to Chicago where she eventually met Frank, her husband. They begin their family life in southern California where they add two daughters and a son to the mix. Their children grow and Leslie, the main author comes of age.Section 3 is Leslie's voice. She describes her mother's behavior and her own reaction to her mother. Both women are stunningly honest. A major theme throughout the book is that Rita never had a childhood and was never nurtured. It seemed that she sought nurturing from inappropriate sources, especially her oldest daughter.*Psychological commentary: (I mean, really, you expected it, didn't you?) Given that Rita's most traumatic experiences occurred when she was between the ages of 5 and 8, every so often her interactions with others seem childish and disproportionately immature. It makes sense, however, that when Rita was feeling stress in her interpersonal relationships, that she would revert to the child who still longed to be nurtured. The scared, lonely little girl in the attic. Carry on.It is clear that Rita is a survivor yet she does not have her own identity. She is vicariously living through her children. Leslie discovers the term "enmeshed" in her adulthood. Honestly, there were many times during this part of the book that I couldn't remember which was the parent and which was the child. Leslie finds that her childhood habit of collecting accomplishments carry over into adulthood. She is the overachiever who seems afraid to have any down time.Meanwhile, Leslie is suffering from generalized anxiety. Sorry about that. I forgot to warn you that I had another psychological commentary. Leslie also takes a trip to Poland where she is background for a cousin's documentary. There she meets the woman who kept the secret of the Jews in her attic, walked through her mother's old house, and became more keenly aware of what her mother experienced. She also discovers that children of the Holocaust survivors tend to be the hyper-achievers. They also tend to carry the grief of their parents on their own shoulders and feel responsible for their parents' happiness.Leslie eventually marries and has children. It is only when her own daughter suffers from extreme separation anxiety that Leslie sees the connection. Leslie tracks down all of her mother's living relatives who offer new insights regarding her grandmother who died and the uncle preceded her. She also tracks down her mother's stepmother who paints a significantly different picture of their relationship.This is a stunning undertaking. I found the honesty in which the book is written to be painful and genuine. It is also striking to see the contrast between the perception of a child and the perception of those who were there and remembered things differently. Perception is reality.The fourth little section is written by Leslie's daughter who is processing the burden she had cast about her shoulders without her knowledge. It is also discovered, at this time, that Leslie is still gathering her accomplishments by being on important committees. When she realizes what she is doing, she gives up her shield and concentrates on being a mothe
NWADEL on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A beautiful memoir, written by Leslie Gilbert- Lurie. The first part of the story is about Rita and her family. The Gamss family, 14 people, hid from the Nazi's in the attic of a farmers house. During this time, they used buckets for toilets, dirty water had to be used to wash 14 people, potato soup was all they had to eat, 1 time a day and sometimes not every day.Ritas baby brother died during this time and her mother died shortly after. Two years they hid in the attic.This story is not just about the horrors and anguish of the holocaust, its about the depression and the fears and how it affected not only Rita and her family but her children and her childrens children.The last part of the book is told by Leslie and how she always had to be with her mother for fear of something bad happening to her.I highly recommend this book.
Jemima79 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Bending Toward The Sun tells the true story of Rita Lurie who survived the Nazi occupation of Poland in WWII by hiding in a farmhouse attic for approximately two years. While cramped up in the cold dark attic with fourteen other family members, the young Rita learned to suppress all her needs; both physical and emotional. Among these terrible circumstances, Rita's mother and younger brother died. When Poland was liberated and Rita and her family were freed, their troubles were far from over. They lived in many refugee camps while waiting to emigrate to a new country and begin afresh. They ended up being granted entrance to America where Rita was thrust into a new life that included a difficult step-mother as well as adjusting to life in a foreign place.The second part of this memoir is told from Rita's daughter Leslie's perspective. While Leslie was blessed with the security of growing up in America, the trauma that Rita had experienced as a young girl continued to have an effect upon the next generation. Due to Rita's early loss of her mother, a legacy of separation anxiety was passed down to her daughter and granddaughter. It is this generational effect of the original trauma that inspired Leslie to examine her mother's story and see if she could make sense of the way it had touched her own and her daughter's life. Leslie is a very accomplished woman but she grew up with a strong sense of guilt and concern for her mother. She took on a role of protecting her mother from any emotional upset. Leslie's description of the family dynamics gives the reader a greater understanding of how one tragic event can become an integral part of the lives that are touched by it either directly or indirectly.Bending Toward The Sun is a well written and engaging memoir that tells an amazing story. The strong characters and important themes made this a book that was well worth reading. It is a testament to Rita's strength of character that she managed to lead a full life after all she went through. She devoted herself to giving love and protection to her children and grandchildren. She had an endless ability to nurture her loved ones despite her own emotional deprivation. Though Rita was determined to overcome her troubles, she still had very serious bouts of depression at various periods of her life. It was heart-breaking to read about her depression soon before her 70th birthday. Rita was five when she went to the attic but even at age 70 she was still experiencing the devastating effects of the Holocaust. Throughout the memoir there is not just a sense of loss and tragedy, but also of hope and inspiration. In the pages of Bending Toward The Sun, Rita and her family are celebrated as survivors and inspirations for all.
susanbevans on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Bending Toward the Sun is an emotionally riveting and beautifully written Holocaust memoir. The first section of the book, Rita's story of hiding - living in deplorable conditions, watching as beloved members of her family died - is truly horrifying and distressing. Rita's experiences as a young girl shaped her in a profound way, and the repercussions of the extreme suffering she endured and witnessed, reverberated through the years, touching the lives of not only her children, but also her grandchildren. In the next section of the book, Rita's daughter Leslie takes center stage, laying the intimacies of her life bare to the reader in order to describe the way a legacy of fear and anxiety can be passed on from generation to generation like a faulty gene. The trauma that Rita endured during WWII and in the years following the war, wounded her psyche and handicapped her emotionally. What is particularly moving about Bending Toward the Sun, is that this family survived and prospered, with an impressive courage that is truly awe-inspiring.I very much enjoyed the concept of Bending Toward the Sun. I cannot remember ever reading a mother/daughter memoir before this time. Although it is heartbreaking in it's emotional intensity, it was essential to the healing process of this family that their story be told. The thing that I will take away from reading this exceptional memoir, is the strength and fortitude of these amazing women. I highly recommend Bending Toward the Sun to lovers of memoirs/biographies/autobiographies, as well as people interested in the history of WWII and the Holocaust.
sensitivemuse on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Bending Toward the Sun is a mother and daughter memoir by Leslie Gilbert-Lurie and her mother, Rita Lurie. It covers both of their lives and how the Holocaust has made such a significant impact on them and on their future generation. The first part features Rita's story, from hiding in a cramped attic with her family during the War to her years in America struggling with her past and growing up without a real mother. The second part of the book, covers Leslie's life, who tries very hard to please her mother, but at the same time, tries to understand what her mother went through and realizes that Rita's painful past has somehow affected the outlook on life to Leslie, and also onto Leslie's daughter Mikaela. I thought it was an excellent memoir. Not only do you get to read the stories of two very strong willed women but there's a clear concise narration to it that actually makes the memoir very interesting and before you knew it, you were already at the end. It was a very interesting look into their lives and how the Holocaust had made such an impact on their daily routines, how they thought, how they acted, and how strongly attached they were as a family unit. I especially liked Rita's strength and her determination to be a very good mother to her children. Considering since she never really had a mother to begin with, she made an extreme effort to be loving and to give her children the childhood she never had when she was young. I thought it was very admirable and a very strong trait in her. Leslie also follows in her footsteps and tries to become a very good mother, but also it seems she has to please her mother as well, which can become extremely difficult as you see Leslie trying to struggle with it. The book shows how slow psychological healing and with facing the past and its' ghosts, it could go a long way into healing some wounds that have never had the chance of healing properly. I felt a lot for Rita, who really had no one to turn to, and to confide in, while she was in her teenage years. It truly seemed as if she was really alone in the world but again, as I said, it's very admiring how she managed to be determined to pick herself up on her feet to live her life the way she wants. Although I really had no love for Clara even though she survived through a lot of pain and misery I can't help but dislike her for her treatment towards Rita. It certainly didn't help Rita much during her childhood. Towards the end however, I felt ambivalent towards her especially when she says her point of view of things. It was hard to believe who was telling the truth or if Rita had selective memory.I have to admit, this book actually drove me to tears at the end. The letter Leslie and her sister writes to their Grandmother is very touching and although they never had a chance to meet her, is filled with love and provides some sort of closure like this book provides closure to their mother.Overall a wonderful touching memoir about the impact the Holocaust has on its' victims and their children.
booksandwine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If the sins of the father are visited upon the son, then are the sorrows of the mother to be carried on by the daughter? Reading Bending Toward The Sun by Leslie Gilbert-Lurie has made me ponder this. Bending Toward The Sun starts out with the narration of Rita, Leslie's mother. Rita and some of her family members survived the Holocaust by hiding in the attic of a family friend. Rita's tale is fascinating, I can't help but ache for her. To be honest, I did cry a bit while reading her story. Eventually Leslie takes up the narration, and the rest of the memoir is about how Rita's Holocaust survivor status has affected her life. For instance, Leslie experience severe separation anxiety growing up. She also felt pressured to become an overachiever.I think the writing could have been a bit better, but I realize that Lurie isn't a writer. She's a television executive/consultant. I guess I don't expect the narrative to be as good as that of someone who writes for a living. Interspersed throughout the book were photographs which I felt would have been less awkward if there had been some pages in the middle for them, or an appendix.Reading Bending Toward The Sun has made me think about how some may perceive the Holocaust. Obviously, we all have learned about the horrors during the time period. What about after? I mean, do we picture those who have lived through hell as ambling back home and living the same life as before. I suppose I make that mistake from time to time. Rather, surviving the Holocaust had a lasting mental effect on Rita Lurie, who battled depression her whole life. It sucks that something like this robbed someone of something so precious, childhood. I understand Rita wanted to give her children the best possible childhood, but it seems her neurosis also affected her children. After finishing this book, I wouldn't mind reading more about the children of Holocaust survivors, as it will help to expand my understanding of the impact of such a tragedy.
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MRShemery More than 1 year ago
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.
Fran14518 More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It was very interesting to read how the mother's experience of living and suffering through the Holocaust eventually have an effect on how she parents her daughter and how her daughter parents the granddaughter. It is a true story of courage and survival.
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Sensitivemuse More than 1 year ago
Bending Toward the Sun is a mother and daughter memoir by Leslie Gilbert-Lurie and her mother, Rita Lurie. It covers both of their lives and how the Holocaust has made such a significant impact on them and on their future generation. The first part features Rita's story, from hiding in a cramped attic with her family during the War to her years in America struggling with her past and growing up without a real mother. The second part of the book, covers Leslie's life, who tries very hard to please her mother, but at the same time, tries to understand what her mother went through and realizes that Rita's painful past has somehow affected the outlook on life to Leslie, and also onto Leslie's daughter Mikaela. I thought it was an excellent memoir. Not only do you get to read the stories of two very strong willed women but there's a clear concise narration to it that actually makes the memoir very interesting and before you knew it, you were already at the end. It was a very interesting look into their lives and how the Holocaust had made such an impact on their daily routines, how they thought, how they acted, and how strongly attached they were as a family unit. I especially liked Rita's strength and her determination to be a very good mother to her children. Considering since she never really had a mother to begin with, she made an extreme effort to be loving and to give her children the childhood she never had when she was young. I thought it was very admirable and a very strong trait in her. Leslie also follows in her footsteps and tries to become a very good mother, but also it seems she has to please her mother as well, which can become extremely difficult as you see Leslie trying to struggle with it. The book shows how slow psychological healing and with facing the past and its' ghosts, it could go a long way into healing some wounds that have never had the chance of healing properly. I felt a lot for Rita, who really had no one to turn to, and to confide in, while she was in her teenage years. It truly seemed as if she was really alone in the world but again, as I said, it's very admiring how she managed to be determined to pick herself up on her feet to live her life the way she wants. Although I really had no love for Clara even though she survived through a lot of pain and misery I can't help but dislike her for her treatment towards Rita. It certainly didn't help Rita much during her childhood. Towards the end however, I felt ambivalent towards her especially when she says her point of view of things. It was hard to believe who was telling the truth or if Rita had selective memory. I have to admit, this book actually drove me to tears at the end. The letter Leslie and her sister writes to their Grandmother is very touching and although they never had a chance to meet her, is filled with love and provides some sort of closure like this book provides closure to their mother. Overall a wonderful touching memoir about the impact the Holocaust has on its' victims and their children.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read many books, memoirs in particular, but I have never reviewed one. For Bending Toward the Sun, I make an exception, as I found this book to be deeply moving, profound, and in some small way, life changing. This mother/daughter memoir begins by chronicling Rita Lurie's (Ruchel's) harrowing journey through her Anne Frank-like hiding during the holocaust -- only this one with a happier ending. Her story is at once horrifying and beautiful as it documents man's potential for inhumanity, and at the same time, the courage and perseverance of the human spirit. I was particularly moved by how someone who bore witness to such random inhumanity at such a young and formative age (including watching her mother die in hiding just months before their liberation) and then went on to suffer more abuse in the confusion and craziness of the post war years, could still managed to pull her life together and find enough courage and love in her heart to build and sustain a successful marriage and loving tight knit family. We live in a world where people constantly attribute bad behavior to unfortunate childhood experiences. Yet, here is a woman who leaves a boatload of hatred and insanity behind to build a productive, beautiful life. In the next section of the book, Gilbert-Lurie explores how her mother's legacy of trauma and suffering was inadvertently passed down to her, and became her own cross to bear. Gilbert-Lurie, the memoir's lead author, took on what seems to be the Herculean task of writing not only about her mother's survival of the Holocaust, but about how, despite her mother's best intentions, a legacy of fear and anxiety was passed down to her children. Gilbert-Lurie is obviously an extremely functioning and accomplished woman. And yet, she turns herself inside out, to reveal to a world of strangers, the irrational fears and anxieties that have been, from birth, as much a part of her as any other of her god-given traits. The author also makes the point that inheriting the trauma of the previous generation is not unique to the holocaust. And that our world is filled with individuals who struggle to over come the side-effects of hardships they never lived. I found the book to be riveting, and emotionally compelling. And above all, I found it to transcend the specificity of one family's story, in it's successful attempt to make a universal point about the human family, and the wounds we each carry, every day, that we've unknowingly borrowed from our loved ones. A must read.
debbook More than 1 year ago
I had a hard time getting into this book at first. The book is divided into three parts, the mother's story, the daughter's story (the author), and then the collaboration to writing this memoir. The first part is in italics and I found that distracting for awhile. But I put the book away for a few days and then started back up again. Much better this time. The first part details Ruchel's (Rita) family during WWII, hiding in the attic of a friend for two years to avoid discovery by the Nazis. Rita's mother and baby brother do not survive as well as some other family members. After the Russians chase out the Germans, they return to there home but then must leave due to hostility still prevalent towards the Jews. They make their way through eastern Europe and finally to Italy. Rita's father remarries to a woman that does not want two step-daughters and Rita grows up feeling unloved as her family then moves to Brooklyn and finally Chicago. Rita marries and moves to Los Angeles and has a daughter Leslie. And this starts the second part. Between Rita's depression and her striving to be a great mother, she is incredibly overprotective of Leslie and her other children. Leslie was unusually fearful during her childhood and that leads to the third part. Leslie sees her own daughter, Mikaela, growing up to be as fearful as she was. This leads Leslie to look into the transmission of trauma from parents to children so that she can better understand what Mikaela is going through and help her. This is done by looking into her mother's past and discovering how the events effected Rita, Leslie and Mikaela. This was an interesting take on a Holocaust memoir, mostly focusing on on not the events themselves, but the results. I really liked the idea, but the writing seemed inexperienced and was not able to hold my attention for long periods of time. But it was an important story to be told. http://bookmagic418.blogspot.com/
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.