Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What I just read - and you must too!!



I picked up the book - not sure why - and could not put it down. From the cover you figure that it's a novel - a fictional one - so why bother? Maybe it was recommended by someone else in the house who had read it, I cannot remember now. But from the beginning this book is a tear-jerker, I tell ya. From the moment you pick it up you're engrossed in the story, in the tragedy that was the life of this girl, her mother and her family. There is one surprising aspect to the book, and that is that names are used - real names - when it comes to very delicate situations, which surprised me. In short, the story is like this: A young woman loses her husband. Her three children leave their "backwards" city in Transcarpathia/Marmures and leave their Yiddishkeit behind as well. She remarries, but her husband is drafted and gets TB while in the army. He dies and leaves her with a 6-month old child, but not before he makes her promise that she'll never abandon her child. Ever. The poor woman gets a job picking grapes in Hungary - menial labor, to say the least - for a Yiddishe Frau.

While working she gets a splinter, and ignores it. Soon enough the pain is too much to bear and she needs to be rushed to a Hospital in Budapest, Selish/ Nagyszollos/Sevlus doesn't have what it takes to do the job. Before she knows it her arm is (oyf kayn shum Yid gedacht) amputated in a very crude way, and she's almost helpless. Relatives of her husband convince her to leave the child with her so that she can recuperate without the child being a burden for her. And if it's at all possible - there starts her real trouble. Read all about the bravery, persistence, trust and strength of a woman on a mission to retrieve her child, as well as the child's amazing story of survival during WW2, when she manages to elude the Nazi murderers at the last moment and live out the war in hiding - in a very unusual way. The memoirs were only published posthumously for that reason. I'll let you guys in on a little secret: I cried often in this book. You cry for the mother, for the young heroine, and for the those that were rounded up and gassed, HY"D. And maybe most of all, you cry when she gets to the Holy Land after ww2 and meets up with family that was lucky enough to get out before it all was destroyed. I'd tell you more, but then you wouldn't read it on your own... Get this book!



אידן ארבעטן שווער אין די מארמורעש

16 comments:

Mottel said...

From the cover you'd think it's fiction? It says a true story on it!

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

I mean the drawing and such...

Der Ruv said...

I have not read the book, and I'm sure it's great, but the constant complaint I hear from young adults is that all frum books/novels seem to be on the same few tired subjects.

Our kids are long bored with these books and have often moved on to non-appropriate books.

Isn't there anything else to write about?

Chaim Yankel said...

I read this,after i thought I had enough with these typical Jewish novels,
beleive me, if it touched the tzig...
powerful stuff, let me tell you

Yerachmiel Lopin said...

Tzig,

Why not take a whack at reviewing Hush by Eishes Chayil. I bet you could even get the publisher to give you a free review copy. I plan to review it as well. But it is set in a chasidish contemporary setting. That is your beat. Its treatment of chasidish life is supposed to be sympathetic. Apparently it manages to deal with sex abuse in a modest fashion. Kirkus Reviews which is usally brutal in its reviewing gave it a great review.

Let's see if you can demolish it or be moved to tears.

chchick said...

A couple of summers back I found my adolescent daughter reading this book. out of desperation for something, anything to read, I stole it from her, only to sit down and read it in one very long sitting. Fascinating and very moving. A really good read especially for someone who can't stomach holocaust fiction. Was surprised it was meant for the younger set.

Anonymous said...

Yerachmiel Lopin has a one track mind.

I'm very, very suspicious of people who are always busy with sexual abuse.

There are other problems in the world, and many interests; why obsess on this one only?

Why must every unrelated topic be used by these people to bring up sexual abuse.

Anonymous said...

This book was originally printed in Hebrew, then translated to Yiddish.
Maybe they have it now in some more languages.

Hershel,
Reading about Selish...
Hope you didnt miss the part about the Spinka Rebbe the Chakal Yitschok HY"D.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

no I didn't miss it. It's very hard to miss.

Grainom said...

If you come to the schuna I'll lend you a copy of "to remain a jew" about R Yitchk zilber

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

Grainom

I'm shocked to hear that you live in the shchunah!

We spoke about the book here years ago..... take a look. I don't think you'll like what I wrote. Besides, we're talking true stories here, not fiction -------------------------------------

grainom said...

i dont live in the schuna youre thinking of...lol

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

sorry about that
I've never heard that term used elsewhere

Der Ruv said...

I, too, have never heard "the schuna" used to refer to any neighborhood other than Crown Heights.

Can you explain your use of the term, or were you using it to be funny?

Grainom said...

It was a stab at humor, I should have written "hood" in parentasies...
I'm a resident of one of your favorite mocking grounds, not flatbush.

Anonymous said...

With tongue deep in cheek, I once commented about the title of this book that it is not so remarkable. How about "An Aidem with Two Shviggers"?