Ostrich Feathers

Ostrich Feathers

by Miriam Romm

Paperback

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789652294586
Publisher: Gefen Publishing House
Publication date: 09/10/2009
Pages: 278
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

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Ostrich Feathers 2.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
CatherineMarie on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This is a book that has great potential. It could have been a wonderful book, as the author does have some nice uses of language and some very good counterpoints going between her childhood and adulthood. Unfortunately, I found it much too fragmented between her childhood, her parents' stories, and her search for her father. Some of this could be the translation as well, but the book could have been much improved by judicious editing and restructuring.
JoClare on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I put aside this book after reading the first chapter; it was a difficult read in many ways and along with the subject matter I thought I would try it again later. I finally made another attempt and was glad I did. I agree with many of the other reviewers that the translating of the story from Hebrew to English created a rather awkward storyline. I found that by treating the storyline as a series of "vignettes" I was able to put the puzzle of this story together and enjoy it. I truly enjoyed visualizing Moniek, what a wonderful picture of this real flesh and blood man the author paints for us! I think this story would be of particular interest to genealogists, the process of research outlined in this book is truly wonderful. I was however disappointed that the question of the character of Carl was never completely answered.
MrsLee on LibraryThing 8 months ago
The story of this book is promising; a woman's search for her father who was lost to her during the Holocaust. I was disappointed in the delivery though. Rather than focusing on the story of her search, or the story of her father, or even the story of her life and achievements, she tried to include all elements by mixing them up in a helter-skelter way. Just when I would begin to be interested in her search through the historical documents, or a story of her family, she would jump into self-examination and musings which completely ruined the continuity for me. She also tried to tie it together with her random meeting of a stranger in a park and the possibility that he was her long lost father, but left the story hanging on that end. We don't know whether he was or wasn't, whether she continued her friendship or whether he died in the night and she never spoke to him again.Perhaps this story would read better in another culture, or for a different generation, but for me it was disjointed and confused when I really did want to know more about the author, her life and her search.
KarenElissa on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Overall I enjoyed to story, but the format was not to my taste. It jumps around between story lines and I found that frustrating. I think there are better books out there.
mzonderm on LibraryThing 8 months ago
When reading a book in translation, it's always hard to tell whether any awkwardness in the text comes from the original or the translation. And there's a lot of awkwardness in this story, though not all of it can be attributed to problems in translation. Some of the awkwardness could go either way, such as the stilted dialogue (I understand that recreating dialogue in a memoir can be problematic, but I think most readers would agree that ease of reading trumps efforts to be strictly faithful to events, as long as gist and meaning are maintained).Other kinds of awkwardness are easier to pinpoint, such as when the author tells us that she wishes she had broached the subject of her father earlier so that she would have had an opportunity to talk to his friends who are now either dead or past the point where she can talk to them about their memories of her father. This would indeed be unfortunate, except that throughout the book we are repeatedly given the memories of several of her father's friends, given, we are told, directly from them to her.This extensive awkwardness is a very unfortunate factor in what otherwise could have been a very good read. The author's quest to find her father, lost during the Holocaust, is a very interesting subject, but this book would have benefited greatly from either a ghost writer, or a better editor, or both.
SeriousGrace on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I have always said reading translations were difficult for me. I cannot help but question situations and details and wonder if they haven't been distorted by the translation. Miriam Romm's slightly autobiographical story of the search for her biological father takes her back to Poland where she befriends an elderly man she secretly hopes is her real father. Their conversations and efforts to uncover the truth of the past are mechanical and false sounding. I blame this on the translation. When Miriam laments that she is an orphan despite having a biological mother and sister I blame the translation for a loose interpretation of the word 'orphan'. When Miriam contradicts herself about sources or when ages don't add up I again, blame the translation. Chronological order is confusing as well.But, probably the biggest obstacle I had to reading Ostrich Feathers was the lack of evidence her biological father even survived the Holocaust. It isn't clear what detail led her to believe he hadn't been murdered by the Nazis. What evidence did she have that would make her, an otherwise smart woman, cling to the improbability that this stranger was her father? It bothered me at the end when she suggests she used the old man to fuel a fantasy.While Ostrich Feathers was written with obvious passion and intensity probably the best and most fascinating part of the story is Romm's research abilities. The fact she was able to recover so much lost information and family history is really remarkable.
KhrystiBooks on LibraryThing 8 months ago
While this story jumps around a lot and has a slightly unsatisfying ending, it offers a unique perspective on World War II. What happens to the descendants of people who changed their identity to survive? This book shows just how literally the devastating effects of the Holocaust reach later, current generations.