Way Home: A German Childhood, an American Life

Way Home: A German Childhood, an American Life

by Ernestine Bradley
5.0 2

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The Way Home: A German Childhood, an American Life 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An exceptional book. It was like living my life all over again. I could not put it down. Does this title also come in german? I would like to send a copy to my sister in law. in Germany.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There are some books that have such a sense of immediacy and urgency about them that when you start to read them, you just cannot put them down. They pull you in, they make you forget about eating and sleeping, they gently ask you to surrender. And if you do so, you embark on a great journey through someone else¿s world that suddenly becomes your world. The Way Home by Ernestine Schlant Bradley is one of those books. Weaving together in a seamless tapestry the stuff that great novels and great lives are made of¿betrayal, separation, loss, defeat, triumph--Bradley uses memory as a vehicle to initially transport her readers to the small town of Passau, Germany, where she grew up during the Nazi period and after World War II; she then flies us on her fictional magic carpet to the United States where she arrives in the fifties to escape the strictures of family and country and to begin a new life as stewardess, university student, mother, professor, wife of Senator Bill Bradley, breast cancer survivor, and perpetual commuter between her Washington home, where she spent the weekends with her daughter and senator husband, and Montclair State University, where she taught courses in German literature and culture and Comparative Literature. The many rich and complicated experiences that Ernestine Bradley lived in these different geographical and psychological worlds are the ostensible subject of The Way Home. But her memoir is much more complex than this simple description: as she uncovers and reveals countless layers of silence and truth, as she merges her personal history with a piece of both Germany history and American history, and as she views defeat as an opportunity rather than a loss, she offers us an inspiring tale that somehow speaks to all of us. Those who have longed for independence and who have struggled to separate from family will find a piece of themselves in this book as will those who have confronted confusing and distorted family histories. Those who came to this country to begin a new life will find a piece of themselves in this book as will those who learned to scrutinize their national past once they left the homeland. Those who have fallen in love and found safety and affirmation of the self in a nurturing relationship will find a piece of themselves in this book as will those who have negotiated the tremendous pulls of motherhood and career and career and marriage. Those who are cancer survivors will find a piece of themselves in this book as will those who experienced through illness a way of letting go. Finally, all of us for whom little moments of the past evoke big emotions will find countless echoes of our own lives in this memoir that is Ernestine Bradley¿s account of a life fully lived.