So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

After Long Silence


After Long Silence. Helen Fremont

After Long Silence by Helen Fremont is a second generation Holocaust memoir. The author's mother and aunt survived the Holocaust by disguising themselves as Polish Catholics in Italy. Her father escaped from Soviet Siberia and walked across Europe at the end of the war to join the sisters in Rome.

What makes this story so interesting is that, after the war, the sisters never came out of hiding as Catholics and convinced the author's father to maintain the pretense as well. They migrated to the USA and had two daughters that they raised as Catholics. It is only when the daughters are in their 30s that they start to suspect that their parents are keeping something from them.

Helen Fremont blends together the two stories of her and her sister uncovering their parents Jewish past and their parents Holocaust survival tale in a wonderful way that shows the intergenerational impact of lies and deception in a way that is still sensitive to her parents' desire to put the past behind them.

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