Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Pages In Between

I'm thrilled to share this book with you during Book Blogger Appreciation Week because THIS is what book blogging is all about - finding fabulous books and sharing them with friends. You all ARE my friends, right? Even though we've never met? Yes, of course you are! So here is what I'm raving about today ...

The Pages In Between: A Holocaust Legacy of Two Families, One Home by Erin Einhorn

We've all read those amazing stories about children rescued from the Jewish Ghettos during World War II, right? But what we don't find out is what happened to them AFTER they were rescued? After the war ended? After life "went back to normal"? If you're like me, you never even really wondered about it. I mean, they made it through ALIVE ... what else could you ask for?

Erin's mother, Irena, was spirited out of a Polish ghetto at age 3. She lived in two foster homes before her father was able to come for her and take her to the US when she was 9 years old. Erin grew up knowing this but not much else about her mother's past; Irena wouldn't say more, only that she "was always loved".

As a young adult Erin decides to go to Poland and Sweden to find the two foster families who took young Irena in. But it isn't as simple as all that. Finding the first foster family and lands her smack-dab in the middle of a land dispute involving her grandfather's house.

I don't want to give anything away here, so I won't give you any more plot details. Suffice it to say that this is a fantastic book. It's an engrossing memoir that sheds light on subjects that I simply had no clue about. I've read lots of memoirs about the war itself, about the ghettos, about the survivors and the victims and the rescuers, but I've NEVER read what happened to the survivors - specifically the children - after the war ended. Or what happened to the foster families who had to give up these children after years of caring for and/or hiding them.

Wondering where the title comes from? I absolutely love this quote from early on in the book, where Erin learns something about her mother's childhood that doesn't fit with what she's always heard:
... hearing it that day for me was like picking up a book I'd read a hundred times and realizing there were pages stuck together, pages that, when pried apart, revealed an entirely new drama. The pages in between changed everything.
Can you imagine that? Think of your favorite book, and add something to it. What if you suddenly found out that Mr. Darcy had been married before, or that Jane only married him because she was rejected by her true love and had nowhere else to go ... Pride and Prejudice just wouldn't be the same book!

I couldn't put this book down! I carried it with me everywhere (which led to this problem). I highly recommend this one - in fact, it ranks as one of my all-time-favorite books this year. It's cliche to say, but "it reads like a novel".

I envy Erin for having the guts (and the ability) to search out her mother's past the way she did. She's the type of person I'd love to have over for dinner for the excellent conversation that is sure to follow.

This book was just released on Sept. 9, 2008. If you do read it, I'd love to hear your thoughts so please post a comment. And if you've reviewed it please post a link to your review so I can add it here.

Random Wonder enjoyed it, and had some experiences with family history research herself

12 comments:

Lezlie said...

Now that you mention it, I never really did ask myself what happened later. Wow. This sounds really great. I'll be keeping my eyes open for it.

Lezlie
Books 'N Border Collies

Julie P. said...

Sounds wonderful -- I would like to check this one out.

Anna said...

If you liked this one, you know what you might also like? The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. Incredibly courageous Christian woman, hid Jews during the holocaust when she was young, she and her sister got caught and sent to the camps. It talks not just about her experience during the holocaust, but her whole life and the effect it had on her. Beautiful, beautiful book.

Dar said...

What a great review. I'm always looking to read books on the holocaust and have often wandered what happened to people afterwards. I will have to pick this one up. I do love the title.

P.S. I ruined my favorite coffee cup driving away with it on the roof...

Heather J. said...

I'd love to hear from you all again if you do read this one. (Yes, that means you Lezlie & Julie & Dar!)

Anna - I've always meant to read Corrie Ten Boom's book, but never seem to get around to it. I've heard it's fantastic. Thanks for the reminder.

Anna said...

I can't wait to read this book! I can't get enough of books from this time period and I especially love memoirs that read like novels. Great review!

Shana said...

Wow. This sounds fantastic.

Anna, I was thinking as I read Heather's review, 'I wonder if Anna has read this?'

Nymeth said...

This really sounds like an amazing book. Thanks for the review, Heather.

Stephanie said...

This sounds awesome, I may have to put it on my TBR list! And you might also enjoy After the War, by Carol Matas. It tells the story of a teenage Holocaust survivor, making her way to Israel with a bunch of other survivors. Utterly fascinating and moving beyond belief.

Becky said...

Thanks! Sounds like a great book! I will have to check it out.
I wanted to share a great book that I have just recently had the privilege of peer reviewing. The book is going to be available to the public October 6th- less than a month away!! The book is titled, “Letters Between Us,” written by Linda Overman. It is a story about friendship. Laura Wells (the main character)attends the funeral of her best friend from childhood(Kathryn). Later she finds boxes of letters that the two friends had written to each other throughout the years, as well as her best friend’s journal. She finds that her friend really wasn’t the person she thought she knew. Incredible book!!

avisannschild said...

This sounds like an interesting book. Thanks for the great review!

Tasses said...

Thanks for the link :-)
Another book that I love is The True Story of Hansel & Gretel by Louise Murphy. It's fiction, but does a great job of retelling Hansel & Gretel in the dark tones of the Holocaust.

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