Wolf Hall is calling me as it sits there almost shouting out ‘600 pages are not going to read themselves’. But before we get to that...
This is another book sent by a kind twitter friend and again it is not something I would normally rush out to buy. The reason is that as a reader of fiction or history the memoir tends to fall between those two categories. Having read some memoirs earlier this year a return to fiction was something more favourable.
But once you start reading this well crafted book you perhaps realise that the success of the memoir is in the telling. Eva Figes focuses on the story of a housemaid Edith and what happened to her as she lost touch with Eva’s family as they fled the Nazis.
Edith went to Palestine but then wrote asking for her old job back with the family who now lived in London. The return of Edith is a chance for Eva to tell of the years since her escape from Berlin in 1939 and the impact on her and her family.
A very honest but so lightly written account exposes her problematic relationship with her mother and the dangerous times they fled in Germany. The world of wealth and grandparents living round the corner was shattered forever. But what seems to have been true for Eva and her parents in particular is that the war never stopped.
You wait for Edith’s arrival and the rest of the story of what happened to those that escaped the holocaust to be shared.
More later this week...