Monday, September 20, 2010

Bending Toward The Sun by Leslie Gilbert-Lurie and Rita Lurie

Bending Toward the Sun
A Mother and Daughter Memoir
By Leslie Gilbert-Lurie

What I Can Tell You: This is a must read! I would have loved reading this book with a friend or book group.

The story of Ruchel/Rita is quite amazing and gut wrenching.  As her daughter states in the Prologue, Rita's story is very similar to Anne Frank's. Both spent two years hiding during the Holocust and hid with the help of others who would have been killed had they been found. However, Rita is here to tell about her story and pass on this legacy to her children and the generations after.

Besides it being a captivating book it is thought provoking and made me think of my own legacy and past and what I may be unconsciously handing down to my own children. Because, as Leslie mentions, our mother's past or families past, effects and shapes who we are as people.

Rita is lucky to have survived such an ordeal that changed history and is still affecting individuals.

Leslie, Rita and even Granddaughter Mikaela who has a big voice in this book are very brave to have started the journey of documenting the life and times of Ruchel/Rita. What a gripping story that will sit with me for quite some time. 

If you decide to read this book, know that you will learn a lot about yourself and your own relationship with your mother.

What makes this book even more special is the amount of photos peppered throughout the story. Seeing the smiles and knowing the two years they endured hiding is at times unbearable.

My heart breaks for the little Ruchel who just wanted to be held and told everything was going to be OK. I cannot imagine what it was like to lose her mother the way she did. Losing my own at 12 years old to Cancer was horrific. Losing her mother right after the traumatic death of her baby brother must have been excruciating.

Reading how Leslie's life was altered by her mother's and how ultimately Mikaela's is being affected by the trauma of her families past makes me think about my own life and how my past is affecting my children in positive and negative ways and how it will trickle down into their own adult lives.

Leslie and Rita's love shines through this haunting memoir.


  1. Fabulous review! This is currently on my old wish list.

  2. Anonymous11:54 AM

    Definitely a must read. Love your review on the book.


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