Thursday, October 29, 2015

Between Gods

Between Gods by Alison Pick appealed to me because I’m always interested in the path people take in their faith/spiritual journey’s.  Which is probably odd to people because I’m not religious nor very spiritual.  But, I’m interested.  In theory, I’d love to have a close community of people to share in.  But, for now, my book club group members are my people, my tribe.

 Alison finds out the family secret as a teenager, her grandparents were Jews who emigrated to Canada to avoid the Nazis.  The rest of their family perished in concentration camps.  Her father was raised Christian and did not know until he was traveling in Prague as an adult and a guide informed him his last name was  Jewish name.  He asked his parents upon arriving home and his mother with sadness and relief informed his dad, “he knows!”

Alison and her dad both have doubts of depression.  Allison explores how this may be caused from her repression/weight of her and her ancestors past.  She embarks on a journey of Judaism and learns a lot in the process. 

It's interesting to me too that she has so much change going on in her life right before she gets married.  It can be such a stressful time anyway, but then adding in the journey of her faith and the obstacles she faces add so much more stress to her life.  I remember thinking to myself that it was supposed to be such a happy time and I was just stressed and ready for it all to be done!

Description: From the Man Booker-nominated author of the novel Far to Go and one of our most talented young writers comes an unflinching, moving and unforgettable memoir about family secrets and the rediscovered past.
     Alison Pick was born in the 1970s and raised in a supportive, loving family. She grew up laughing with her sister and cousins, and doting on her grandparents. Then as a teenager, Alison made a discovery that instantly changed her understanding of her family, and her vision for her own life, forever. She learned that her Pick grandparents, who had escaped from the Czech Republic during WWII, were Jewish--and that most of this side of the family had died in concentration camps. She also discovered that her own father had not known of this history until, in his twenties, he had a chance encounter with an old family friend--and then he, too, had kept the secret from Alison and her sister.
    In her early thirties, engaged to be married to her longtime boyfriend but struggling with a crippling depression, Alison slowly but doggedly began to research and uncover her Jewish heritage. Eventually she came to realize that her true path forward was to reclaim her history and indentity as a Jew. But even then, one seemingly insurmountable problem remained: her mother wasn't Jewish, so technically Alison wasn't either. In this by times raw, by times sublime memoir, Alison recounts her struggle with the meaning of her faith, her journey to convert to Judaism, her battle with depression, and her path towards facing and accepting the past and embracing the future--including starting a new family of her own. This is her unusual and gripping story, told in crystalline prose and with all the nuance and drama of a novel, but illuminated with heartbreaking insight into the very real lives of the dead, and hard-won hope for the lives of all those who carry on after.

I found this easy to read and an interesting memoir / spirtual / religous journey book to read!

Do you enjoy reading memoirs? What books about religion have you read? What are you reading now?

I received this book for review but all thoughts and opinions are my own!

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