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The Pages in Between: A Holocaust Legacy of Two Families, One Home

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The Pages in Between: A Holocaust Legacy of Two Families, One Home Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In a unique, intensely moving memoir, Erin Einhorn finds the family in Poland who saved her mother from the holocaust. But instead of a joyful reunion, Erin unearths a dispute that forces her to navigate the increasingly bitter crossroads between memory and truth.

To a young newspaper reporter, it was the story of a lifetime: a Jewish infant born in the ghetto, saved from the Nazis by a Polish family, uprooted to Sweden after the war, repeatedly torn away from the people she knew as family — all to take a transatlantic journey with a father she'd barely known toward a new life in the United States.

Who wouldn't want to tell that tale? Growing up in suburban Detroit, Erin Einhorn pestered her mother to share details about the tumultuous, wartime childhood she'd experienced. "I was always loved," was all her mother would say, over and over again. But, for Erin, that answer simply wasn't satisfactory. She boarded a plane to Poland with a singular mission: to uncover the truth of what happened to her mother and reunite the two families who once worked together to save a child. But when Erin finds Wieslaw Skowronski, the elderly son of the woman who sheltered her mother, she discovers that her search will involve much more than just her mother's childhood.

Sixty years prior, at the end of World War II, Wieslaw Skowronski claimed that Erin's grandfather had offered the Skowronskis his family home in exchange for hiding his daughter. But for both families, the details were murky. If the promise was real, fulfilling it would be arduous and expensive. To unravel the truth and resolve the decades-old land dispute, Erin must search through centuries of dusty records and maneuver an outdated, convoluted legal system.

As she tries to help the Skowronski family, Erin must also confront the heart-wrenching circumstances of her family's tragic past while coping with unexpected events in her own life that will alter her mission completely.

Six decades after two families were brought together by history, Erin is forced to separate the facts from the glimmers of fiction handed down in the stories of her ancestors. In this extraordinariy intimate memoir, journalist Erin Einhorn overcomes seemingly insurmountable barriers — legal, financial, and emotional — only to question her own motives and wonder how far she should go to right the wrongs of the past.

Synopsis:

Now available in paperback: “a moving account of one woman’s brave journey as she confronts her mother’s past in the cold reality of the present. Einhorn has written a unique holocaust story—part testimony and part detective story” (Martin Lemelman, author of Mendel’s Daughter).

First aired as a segment of This American Life entitled “Settling the Score,” The Pages in Between is the moving story of Einhorn’s personal journey of reconciliation and discovery in modern-day Poland. Frustrated by her mother’s refusal to talk about her tragic and unusual childhood, Einhorn traveled to Poland to find the family that safeguarded her from the Nazis as an infant. What she uncovered was the legacy left behind by a sixtyyear- old promise made by her grandfather: to give the family that harbored her mother during the war everything he had—most importantly the deed to his own family’s house. In her attempt to fulfill that debt that saved her mother’s life, Einhorn comes face to face with the realities of present day Poland, where a dispute of this kind requires endless digging through painful and often hidden history. Along the way, she suffers her own personal losses and begins to question how much of the future should be jeopardized in order to right the wrongs of the past. Part family history, part personal and present coming of age memoir, The Pages in Between powerfully tells of a young woman’s quest for the “truth” about her mother’s life, and of learning the lesson that this truth might be impossible to find.

About the Author

Erin Einhorn is a reporter for the New York Daily News where she's covered New York City's government and the nation's largest public school system. She has written for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and Fortune. A contributor to public radio's This American Life, Einhorn and her story were the basis for one of the show's most popular episodes. She lives in New York City.

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Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book Club com, January 11, 2010 (view all comments by Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book Club com)
In The Pages In Between, Erin Einhorn has written a memoir about what she finds when she searches for the Polish family that sheltered her Jewish mother during World War II.

When she was growing up in Detroit, Einhorn didn't know much about her mother's past until she wrote a paper on the topic when she was in high school. Her mother, Irena, offered only the basics: Born in the early 1940s, Irena's mother died during the war, while her father, Beresh, survived. Before he was taken away to a concentration camp, Beresh offered a local woman money and his home to live in if she would keep Irena safe. After the war, Beresh returns and makes his way with his daughter and new wife first to Sweden then to the U.S., where he made a new life.

When Erin, Irena's daughter, became a journalist, her reporter’s mind refused to let go of her mother's story, and she wanted to learn more. Taking a sabbatical from her job, she moved to Poland to see if she could find her mother's rescuers. In the story of her quest, Einhorn mixes historical fact with current cultural observations with details of her journey to create a fascinating account that is very personal, yet universal in many ways as well.

The story will touch a chord with anyone who has ever wondered about the people who came before them: where did they live, what motivated them, how were their lives different from ours? There's genealogical research and observations about Jews in Poland. Einhorn takes a look at historical attitudes of Poles to Jews and how lingering feelings of distrust resulting from the Holocaust continue to this day. But she also looks at how this generation of young Poles is different from the one that came before, and she candidly assesses the differences.

All in all I think The Pages in Between is not just the story of one woman's search for her mother's history. It taps into the yearning that many of us feel about understanding our mothers and ourselves by looking at the events that helped shape us into who we are. I recommend it for mother-daughter book clubs with daughters in 10th grade and older.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781416558316
Author:
Einhorn, Erin
Publisher:
Touchstone Books
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Judaism - History
Subject:
Holocaust
Subject:
Historical - Holocaust
Subject:
Biography - General
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20090431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.44 x 5.5 in 9.17 oz

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Related Subjects

» Biography » General
» Biography » Historical
» History and Social Science » World History » Holocaust
» Religion » Judaism » History
» Religion » Judaism » Holocaust

The Pages in Between: A Holocaust Legacy of Two Families, One Home New Trade Paper
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$18.99 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Touchstone Books - English 9781416558316 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Now available in paperback: “a moving account of one woman’s brave journey as she confronts her mother’s past in the cold reality of the present. Einhorn has written a unique holocaust story—part testimony and part detective story” (Martin Lemelman, author of Mendel’s Daughter).

First aired as a segment of This American Life entitled “Settling the Score,” The Pages in Between is the moving story of Einhorn’s personal journey of reconciliation and discovery in modern-day Poland. Frustrated by her mother’s refusal to talk about her tragic and unusual childhood, Einhorn traveled to Poland to find the family that safeguarded her from the Nazis as an infant. What she uncovered was the legacy left behind by a sixtyyear- old promise made by her grandfather: to give the family that harbored her mother during the war everything he had—most importantly the deed to his own family’s house. In her attempt to fulfill that debt that saved her mother’s life, Einhorn comes face to face with the realities of present day Poland, where a dispute of this kind requires endless digging through painful and often hidden history. Along the way, she suffers her own personal losses and begins to question how much of the future should be jeopardized in order to right the wrongs of the past. Part family history, part personal and present coming of age memoir, The Pages in Between powerfully tells of a young woman’s quest for the “truth” about her mother’s life, and of learning the lesson that this truth might be impossible to find.

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