Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Review Wednesday - A Fifty-Year Silence: Love, War, and a Ruined Housein France

Update to review below. I shared it with the Author and she mentioned me on her FB Page. I feel like I know her. Silly... but you see, her grandmother was right, "you should talk to people." Reach out. Tell them you care... <3 So blessed! You can read her post HERE!

Happy Wednesday All.

It's been raining since the wee hours of the morning here in North Texas, and it's wonderful. Christopher has settled into a Math Test and I thought I'd write a quick book review. It's been a long time since I sat and read a book over a weekend. I took it with me everywhere we went and read while I waited at some points. It was THAT good.

As someone who loves to review books, I read a few reviews on this book. There was one young lady who wrote how confused and lost she was at all the directions this book went in. I admit it was hard to keep up at times, but isn't that how life is? I think so. It's definitely how research is. When you are looking for an answer, you find a clue, then go hunting down the next clue. The style of this book is perfect. I figure, if you don't get that, you really have not lived life enough. This is a book for someone who knows about life and people and who understands trials and tribulations along the travels and travails of life.

I was so excited about the book, I went looking for the Author. I found a few words from Miranda blog, that lead me to Words from Miranda, and then to her FB Page. More Info about her, can be found HERE!

A Fifty-Year Silence: Love, War, and A Ruined House in France, by Miranda Richmond Mouillot is spectacular in every sense of that word.

I have been through a great many things in my 51 years. Things that were loving and triumphant; that blessed me beyond what I deserved. Things that were excruciatingly painful; that left me with many unanswered questions; that shattered my faith and my surroundings. But nothing could possibly prepare a person for something as devastating as the Holocaust and what that must do to your family for generations.
"After surviving World War II by escaping Nazi-occupied France for refugee camps in Switzerland, Anna M√ľnster and Armand Jacoubovitch bought an old stone house in a remote, picturesque village in the South of France. Five years later, Anna packed her bags and walked out on Armand, taking the typewriter and their children. Aside from one brief encounter, the two never saw or spoke to each other again, never remarried, and never revealed what had divided them forever."

You know the old saying, there is a fine line between love and hate? Well, I believe that it is true. I love the tenacity of this author. She was haunted by the dysfunction in her family and determined to find out why her grandparents, Armand and Anna, had two children, never spoke or even acted like one-another existed - for 50 years.  She loved them both so much.  What she found was the history of her ancestors during WWII. What she learned was to live her life to the fullest... to take chances... to dream big!

One of the most fantastic things about this book is that this young lady lived in the home her grandparents bought all those years before... she met her husband there and forged her life... so the present is very much intertwined with her past.  The funny thing to me, while reading this book was how much like her grandparents (probably the best of both of them) she was. So determined to get to the bottom of her family legacy. She almost missed out on life because she was so focused on others. Thank God for Julian (who she eventually married) coming along.

Miranda doesn't state the exact reasons for the split, but I want you to read this book. It's intellectual and worthy! It's chaos intertwined with love. It's reality. It's LIFE!

In my heart, I believe this young couple was torn apart by the war, by their own insecurities/fears, by a cruel world.  My husband is traveling and I was trying to explain my thoughts to him. My conclusion was this... Miranda's grandfather, Armand, having lived the Holocaust as a Jewish man; knowing his family, friends, colleagues were killed and their homes and personal belongings stolen/destroyed; having been betrayed by the French and Swiss Governments and others (in my opinion); and finally, having to translate the Nuremberg Trials -- well, he would NEVER be the same. There is no way he could have ever looked at life the same. The goal was to stay sane, I'm sure. Sadly his inability to live life and fear of being happy... and his wife, Anna's desire to start over and determination to be happy... led to their break. He must have felt deserted and powerless and she must have felt like a caged animal set free. It was neither of their faults. It was a mad, mad world...

I just read that Miranda's grandfather, Armand passed away earlier this year, and it brought tears to my eyes. Her grandmother died while she was researching her book and her grandfather lost his mind - which, if you ask me, makes him one hell of a strong man to not have lost it much earlier - given what he'd been through.  When my son came in, I was in tears. I can not explain it.  I feel like we must cry for people who had so much taken away. He is finally at peace and for that I am so thankful. However, I am so sorry for Miranda's loss and for that of her Mother and Uncle.

We need to know our past so that we can learn from it.  Thank you Miranda, for bravely writing this book, about your family and your struggles with understanding the past.

Life is hard for most... harder for some. But you really can overcome the worst situations and make a good life for yourself.

Read this book! You won't regret it. Even though I received this book from Blogging for Books, in exchange for my review, I chose to read it because it was interesting to me. SO know that this is a fair and honest review, even though I did not pay for the book.

Love, Hugs & blessings,

Emily

4 comments:

  1. "I feel like we must cry for people who had so much taken away."

    So well-stated! When I read "Remember Your Name", the story of a Holocaust survivor that we actually knew personally when we lived in NY, I cried and cried over the immense loss this family endured (like millions of others). I couldn't put it down and read until 4am. I sobbed for their losses. You just explained what I haven't been able to put into words.

    Sounds like a good read. So, the couple never spoke to each other or had a relationship outside of having children?

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  2. They never spoke again.
    Strange, huh?!

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  3. Yes, and such a tragedy. Just a taste of what it stole from him/them.

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  4. I left a message for the Author on FaceBook. She said she cried when she read my review. That is a huge compliment. <3 Awww

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Em