What would cause two Jews who lived through World War 2 France to stop speaking to one another? What would make one of them move halfway around the world?
Armand and Anna did just that. They were married in July of 1944, had a daughter and son, and for some reason stopped speaking to one another. Armand stayed in Switzerland while Anna immigrated to the United States.
Their granddaughter, Miranda, grew up with this a few irrational fears that only made sense once she had grown and spent time learning about her grandparent’s lives.
Their story is compiled in Miranda Mouillot’s new book, A Fifty-Year Silence. Miranda is a masterful storyteller and this book is a delight. At times, the book elicited giggles, other times tears.
I’m not going to give any spoilers as this is a book I think you should read. You really should read it if the World War 2 era fascinates you at all or if you’re a history lover. This book is about two people, desperately in love yet having lived through atrocities I can’t begin to imagine, are thrust apart. It is only with some distance can Miranda see that her grandparent’s didn’t hate each other, they weren’t indifferent to each other, they loved each other. But what they have lived through changed them, as it changes all of us. Misunderstandings abounded. Feelings were buried deep, hurts allowed to fester, the Nuremberg Trials, fears within and without.
This book is about humans and our will to survive…or sourrwive as Anna would say. It’s about love and loss and a rundown old house in the South of France. It is a must read over and over and over. It’s about dreaming of a better, different ending.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher and Blogging For Books for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.