Saturday, September 12, 2009

Book Review : Bending Toward the Sun by Leslie Gilbert-Lurie

"I feared the nights outside most of all. Even now, when i get scared, the feeling---that my body is falling away and I am totally vulnerable, as though i have no skin holding me together---returns."

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. For more information see her website Bending Toward the Sun

From Amazon:

From Publishers Weekly
The lasting impact of the Holocaust on a survivor and her daughter emerges in this joint account by Lurie-Gilbert and her mother. Lurie was five when a farmer agreed to hide her along with 14 Polish-Jewish relatives in his attic in exchange for jewelry and furs. While in hiding, Lurie witnessed the Nazis shoot a cousin and an uncle; her younger brother and mother died in the stifling, stinking hideout (years later her daughter, Gilbert-Lurie, wonders if the boy was smothered to quiet him and if her grandmother died of a broken heart). After the war, in an Italian DP camp, Lurie's father remarried to a stepmother Lurie resented; her father became increasingly depressed and remote when their fractured and traumatized family relocated to Chicago; and deep depressions haunted Lurie's own otherwise happy marriage. Gilbert-Lurie in turn recalls her mother's overprotectiveness, her career as a TV executive, a 1988 visit to her mother's childhood village and her own guilt, anxiety and sadness. Although the voices and experiences expressed are valuable, the writing is adequate at best, with none of the luminosity of Anne Frank, to whom Gilbert-Lurie compares her mother. Photos. (Sept. 1)
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This video is from Ms. Luries website :

Best regards,


Lisa said...

I'm really looking forward to reading this one then having my mom read it too.

Sassy Brit said...

Sounds like a good read!

Anna said...

I'll be reading this book next. Sounds like a very interesting story. Would it be okay to link to your review on War Through the Generations?

Diary of an Eccentric