Sunday, March 1, 2015

A Fifty-Year Silence by Miranda Richmond Mouillot

More info*
Publication date: 2015
Publisher: Crown Publishers
Pages: 263
My rating: 4 stars

"Armand and Anna fell in love, bought a house, and never spoke again." Their granddaughter is determined to find out why. Having borne the memories that come from being the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, Miranda goes to France to discover more about her grandparents' lives during the war and what it was that drove them first together and then apart--never to speak again.

I have just recently become obsessed with the UK version of "Who Do You Think You Are?" For those not familiar, on the show they have someone famous tracing their genealogy and family history. It's amazing to watch them learn things that they never knew before and to come to love these people that they never met, or to understand something they never did.

The reason I bring this up is because this book seemed to come at the right time. Though Mouillot knew both of her grandparents, she didn't know about their past. But the book isn't just a family history, but also a memoir. Mouillot talks about the fear she had as a child that came from being the only grandchild of Holocaust survivors, and how that led to her obsession in learning what happened and trying to make her grandparents' story into something romantic.

I have been finding it interesting that there are things from our family's past that can have an influence on us. Mouillot's journey shows both how it can influence us and how it can set us free. Her grandparents have two different ways of dealing with the past: her grandmother moves forward, and her grandfather holds it close.

This book is amazing and moving. It's about survival, which makes it different than a lot of stories about WWII where we are dragged through all the horrible things that happened and left wondering if everything will be okay. Instead we are presented with people who continued to move forward and find ways to keep living a somewhat normal life despite the horrors surrounding them.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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