The Butcher’s Daughter by Florence Grende

In this memoir, Florence Grende traces her family’s past, hiding in the Polish forests to escape Nazis, then finding brief reprieve in Heidelberg, Germany, and finally settling in the Bronx.  Alongside her family’s story, pieced together from memories, her imagination, as well as research at the Jewish Historical Institute of Warsaw, she narrates her own struggles with the smoldering beasts, the dead ever present in her household, who inform her inner life.  Her tale becomes a talisman, like the shoe she takes from the Majdenak work camp and donates to her synagogue for teaching purposes.  She begins writing her story after attending a symposium sponsored by One by One which fosters dialogue between descendants of those on opposite sides of WWII.  Speaking and writing allow her to encase the past in words.  Reading this work, told in short chapters that jump back and forth in time, mirrors the jarring experience of growing up as the child of survivors.  But through metaphors like the dragon who stands for Dee Melchombe [The War] and her vivid descriptions of her cleaver-wielding father, taciturn mother, non-violent brother and her own freedom-seeking self, Grende invites us to see beauty and discover healing in her endeavor.             the book’s fb page

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Author: marilivtollefson

I teach and play violin when not reading and reviewing books. Thanks to indie authors for opening my world and sharing theirs! Find my reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, Kobo, Midwest Book Review and BookPage, among others.

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