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Hardcover After Long Silence: A Memoir Book

ISBN: 0385333692

ISBN13: 9780385333696

After Long Silence: A Memoir

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

"Fascinating . . . A tragic saga, but at the same time it often reads like a thriller filled with acts of extraordinary courage, descriptions of dangerous journeys and a series of secret identities."... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

First generation truth

I could not put this book down for several reasons. My father's experience was much the same as the author's father. My father was born and raised in Lvov and was conscripted into the Russian army shortly before the Russians evacuated. He left behind five siblings, his parents and a family of 200 people. They were all murdered at Belzec.What particularly intrigued me was her father's life in the gulag. My father was also incarcerated in a place called Aktubinsk in Middle Asia and shared many of the experiences described in the book. I know that what Ms. Fremont is describing is truthful because it is the same as was described to me by my father. He also acknowledged that although the camp was hell, he probably would not have survived had he remained in Lvov. The description of the pogram on Petlura Day had me in tears. I can only assume that my family endured that horror also.I can understand some of the criticism leveled at the book by those who are not the children of survivors. Growing up as the child of survivors is not the same as growing up in a "normal" household. Even if parents are not reticent, as mine were not, there are certain boundaries past which you do not wander. You do not need to be told not to ask; you just know.I do not think that one can compare Ms. Fremont's discretion with respect to her friends and her "outing" of her parents. Ms. Fremont's parents, I'm certain with the best of intentions, denied her her heritage. This denial is part of the heitage that scars the first generation of survivors' children. I'm sure that a variation of these scars will be handed down to our children. Never knowing your grandparents, your aunts, your uncles or you cousins but knowing that they once existed and were murdered for no reason, gives a perspective that cannot be understood unless you've actually experienced it. I know for a fact that Ms. Fremont is not the only first generation child who has tested herself with hunger or cold. I've done it myself. It gives you a different scale on which to measure life. It also makes you stronger.

Understanding the silent & why we must break our own silence

As the son of a survivor, I read this book differently than most. I understand the author's parents need for silence. I also understand the destructiveness of it on the survivors and their children. Ms. Fremont has created a wonderful framework for the telling of HER story. Those who read this just for the story of her parents are missing the point of writing the book. The silence of her parents - like many survivors of the Shoa - cannot be completely broken, so admittedly the author `fills in' or `imagines' details so painful that her parents are unable or unwilling to remember.This novel is an exploration into the author's movement OUT OF SILENCE. She skillfully represents this personal growth by sharing with the reader her journey into her family's and her own past. It is during this journey as she questions why her parents kept so silent that she puts herself to the ultimate test and breaks her own conspiracy of silence to her parents and family about her sexual orientation. Bravely she works to stop all the silences of her family - silence of Shoa experiences, silences of avoiding one's true identity - so that they may no longer live in the shadow that silence casts.The book is to be applauded as a journey to self truth. A journey we are always on and must always work at.Read the book as a tool to remove your own silences.

An Amazing Book

Like Helen Fremont, my parents are also Jewish Holocaust Survivors. However, unlike her, my parents never hid their past. Even with our differences, she does a remarkable job of showing something most children of survivors have in common - how truly difficult it is to "ask" our parents about their past; I label it "a difficult dance" - we, as their children, feel we must know about their past, but we don't want to hurt them by making them spill their guts about the utter inhumantiy they lived through. This is a difficult topic to capture, but Fremont did it magnificently. I also felt tremendous sympathy for her. I truly understand how she felt. The incredible "jolt" (and this is putting it mildly) when she learned her real identity is probably one of the hardest things she has ever had to live through. I hope that committing her story to paper, in the moving way that she did, will help her resolve her background. She should be commended for opening her life to the rest of us.

Moving, Engrossing, Honest. A must read!

A heart rending as well as hopeful book about the search for truth, identity, and family. The story of Ms. Fremont's parents, her search and research, is a triumphant achievement. Clearly a courageous daughter of courageous parents. I empathize and identify in so many ways as I am researching my own ancestry. Part of being human seems to be this yearning to know where we come from so we can better understand who we are, heal the past, and get on with life.

Too bad this is her first book

Helen Fremont is such a talented writer that I hated for thebook to end. Don't discount it if it's a story you have no interestin; if you love words this woman knows how to make them sing.
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