After Long Silence

After Long Silence is a fascinating discourse of discovery that despite being brought up as a gentile you discover you were Jewish. Your father tells a story of growing up under both Gods. Being blessed twice. The father mentions that he hated being Jewish because Jews wouldn’t fight back.  The author Helen Fremont, knows this is a stereotype so has to mention this is Poland in the late 1930’s not the Israeli Jews of today. Does the reader need this explained? Each physical trauma (falling into ice) the writer encounters makes her compare these events to her parent’s history of being bludgeoned by Russians, Germans and Ukrainians. There is an odd line “History is a card table full of illusions, and we must sort through and pick the ones we wish to believe.” This relates to the stories her parents tell her. I usually like metaphors but at times the author over does it-Italy was a great skillet that sizzled with life. The complications of family secrets are richly explored. Illusions to Yentl and sexual identity give the memoir a univeral spin. The book gives various scenarios as to why the family’s Jewishness was kept hidden sixty years after the end of WW11. An exceptional read.

After Long Silence by Helen Fremont – YouTube

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