So, I just officially finished my book, The Lost, yesterday (big cheers for me!) and thought I’d let you know what I thought about it...I will start with what I didn’t like. It was long (500 pages – a lot for me at this point in my life!) and as I mentioned earlier a little slow at the beginning. There was a lot of detailed discussion on various stories of the Torah which was interesting at first but by the last 50 pages I had begun skipping over to go straight to the actual storyline. Overall, however, I found the book quite fascinating. I thought it was amazing that at such an early age the author became so obsessed with his family history. He wrote letters to distant aunts and uncles and had a running letter correspondence with his grandfather trying to find out what they remembered about his uncle and his family (who as I mentioned before all he really knew at first was “had been killed by the Nazis”), and interestingly enough he still didn’t find out all he could have before many of them died because he didn’t yet know what questions to ask. The curiosity eventually becomes a quest to know everything he can know about this family (his Uncle Shmiel, Aunt Ester and their 4 daughters) and takes him all around the world searching out the surviving Jews from the small town of Bolechow (he mentions how many had survived the Holocaust and I believe it was only around 30) to interview and try to piece the story of their lives back together again. One of my favorite thoughts coming from the book was toward the end when the author describes what we tend to think of losing as the result of these mass genocides or of any death really...”We tend, naturally to think first of the people themselves, the families that will cease existing, the children that will never be born; and then of the homely things with which most of us are familiar, the houses and mementoes and photographs that, because those people no longer exist, will stop having any meaning at all. But there is this too: the thoughts that will never be thought, the discoveries that will never be made, the art that will never be created. The problems, written in a book somewhere, a book that will outlive the people who wrote down the problems, that will never be solved.” The author did an excellent job at presenting his story in a way that makes you think about the Holocaust from a totally different perspective that we are used to and for that I would recommend it...just don’t give up after the first 50 pages!
(for those interested the next book, for February, is “North and South” by Elizabeth Gaskell)
Here are just a couple pictures from yesterday morning...Ella’s first day of primary!