Bending Toward the Sun: A Mother and Daughter Memoir

Leslie Gilbert-Lurie, Author, Rita Lurie, With with Rita Lurie. Harper $25.99 (357p) ISBN 978-0-06-173476-2

The lasting impact of the Holocaust on a survivor and her daughter emerges in this joint account by Lurie-Gilbert and her mother. Lurie was five when a farmer agreed to hide her along with 14 Polish-Jewish relatives in his attic in exchange for jewelry and furs. While in hiding, Lurie witnessed the Nazis shoot a cousin and an uncle; her younger brother and mother died in the stifling, stinking hideout (years later her daughter, Gilbert-Lurie, wonders if the boy was smothered to quiet him and if her grandmother died of a broken heart). After the war, in an Italian DP camp, Lurie's father remarried to a stepmother Lurie resented; her father became increasingly depressed and remote when their fractured and traumatized family relocated to Chicago; and deep depressions haunted Lurie's own otherwise happy marriage. Gilbert-Lurie in turn recalls her mother's overprotectiveness, her career as a TV executive, a 1988 visit to her mother's childhood village and her own guilt, anxiety and sadness. Although the voices and experiences expressed are valuable, the writing is adequate at best, with none of the luminosity of Anne Frank, to whom Gilbert-Lurie compares her mother. Photos. (Sept. 1)

Reviewed on: 06/15/2009
Release date: 09/01/2009
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 515 pages - 978-0-06-188513-6
Ebook - 368 pages - 978-0-06-195919-6
Paperback - 357 pages - 978-0-06-177672-4
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