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The Pages In Between by Erin Einhorn - Book Review

The Pages In Between is a tale of mothers & daughters, nationality & family, love & war and the hazards of pulling forth memories long buried. It’s the author’s own legacy of Holocaust death and survival, a sweeping epic told in intimate terms.

Erin Einhorn’s mother was born in war torn Poland in 1942. Her survival and subsequent relocation to Detroit, Michigan is the stuff of Hollywood tear-jerkers and historical reverence. Yet… why, her daughter often wondered, did she refuse to discuss it? Orphaned, left behind, shuffled between caregivers, surely there must be more to the tale than just a hand wave dismissing it all.

But we have adages for a reason and be careful what you wish for holds no greater truth than in The Pages In Between. Life’s not always simply black and white; people aren’t simply good or evil. Prejudice and old wounds can be passed on through generations; anger simmers and infects the whole pot.

The Pages In Between is an excellent look at the legacy left to those who were born to Holocaust survivors. As the years pass and more survivors die of old age, I suspect this sort of story will be told again and again. I have long been extremely interested in my own genealogical tree because my ancestors came here and purged all traces of their European selves. I’m a solid mutt, a mix of German, English and Swiss. I’d never have known this had I not gone looking, as even my own American born parents had no desire and only sketchy memories of the stories they’d heard in childhood. Searching one’s genealogy is like a giant puzzle, a personal quest with each little sliver of parchment a treasure. Ms. Einhorn never sought to become a genealogist, had no interest in the little scraps of paper, wanted only to walk the land of her mother’s birth, to see the sights her mother might have seen as a child, to illicit some emotion from her mother’s stored memories. She found, as I did, that little scraps of paper hold gigantic knowledge.

The Pages In Between reads like a novel, only getting bogged down in facts a few times, as Einhorn uncovers truths and resentments that her mother had never questioned and had probably hoped to keep buried. One is left wondering if burying the past or digging it up is the more noble; if heroism can be defined, and if we are doomed to our ingrained prejudices.

Recommended for historical fiction lovers, genealogy aficionados, memoir enthusiasts and those interested in a not-so-clear-cut rendition in the saga of the Poles & the Jews during WWII.

Buy The Pages In Between Here

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