Okay… don’t hate me but I have been away for a while… I know, I know, how dare you right!? I have had so much happening mentally i just couldn’t be around. So i have a Blogging for Books book review for every one and I wasn’t that excited about reading this after starting it. The book is called A Fifty Year Silence By Miranda Richmond Mouillot. Now I am a huge fan of reading about other peoples history and that is what originally drew me into the idea of this book. This is the synopsis I read prior to selecting this book:
A young woman moves across an ocean to uncover the truth about her grandparents’ mysterious estrangement and pieces together the extraordinary story of their wartime experiences
In 1948, after surviving World War II by escaping Nazi-occupied France for refugee camps in Switzerland, the author’s grandparents, Anna and Armand, 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.
A Fifty-Year Silence is the deeply involving account of Miranda Richmond Mouillot’s journey to find out what happened between her grandmother, a physician, and her grandfather, an interpreter at the Nuremberg Trials, who refused to utter his wife’s name aloud after she left him. To discover the roots of their embittered and entrenched silence, Miranda abandons her plans for the future and moves to their stone house, now a crumbling ruin; immerses herself in letters, archival materials, and secondary sources; and teases stories out of her reticent, and declining, grandparents. As she reconstructs how Anna and Armand braved overwhelming odds and how the knowledge her grandfather acquired at Nuremberg destroyed their relationship, Miranda wrestles with the legacy of trauma, the burden of history, and the complexities of memory. She also finds herself learning how not only to survive but to thrive – making a home in the village and falling in love.
With warmth, humor, and rich, evocative details that bring her grandparents’ outsize characters and their daily struggles vividly to life, A Fifty-Year Silence is a heartbreaking, uplifting love story spanning two continents and three generations.
This book is just not as interesting as the title suggests and i think that the author could have done a much better job at writing it. But I have to give credit where credit is due, Despite the lack of seemingly promised revelation/resolution, the book is an interesting, portrait of two very strong-willed individuals whose very strength in surviving 1940s France as Jews is also their fatal flaw. When the author is exploring her grandparents, their histories and their fraught relationship, she is at her best. But she spends quite a bit of the book focused on herself, as if she is unable to develop her own identity without first fleshing out theirs. These sections come across as quite self-absorbed and are a bit of a chore to plod through. The author has had the privileges and advantages of wealth and security, so her struggles to “make a home” out of her grandparents’ ruined house in France comes across a bit like an elite Peace Corps volunteer who both takes her rugged assignment seriously, but also has the luxury to leave the rough life and kick back with her friends.
Now would i recommend this book? Yes to those who are completely enthralled in Jewish history and heritage but no to anyone who needs a quick read! I received this book free from blogging for books in exchange for an honest book review! And as always the buying link will be included but keep reading my fellow bookworms!
Amazon Buying link: http://www.amazon.com/Fifty-Year-Silence-Ruined-House-France/dp/0804140642