Saturday, 2 January 2016

Between Gods

by Alison Pick

Rating: 3/5


Pages: 368
Publisher: Tinder Press
Publication Date: 2014
ISBN:  9781472225092
Summary (via Goodreads)

From the Man-Booker longlisted author of FAR TO GO, comes an unforgettable memoir about family secrets, depression, and the author's journey to reconnect with her Jewish identity.

Alison Pick was born in the 1970s and raised in a loving, supportive family, but as a teenager she made a discovery that changed her understanding of who she was for ever. She learned that her Pick grandparents, who had escaped from Czechoslovakia during WWII, were Jewish, and that most of this side of the family had died in concentration camps. At this stage she realised that her own father had kept this a secret from Alison and her sister. Engaged to be married to her longterm boyfriend but in the grip of a crippling depression, Alison began to uncover her Jewish heritage, a quest which challenged all her assumptions about her faith, her future, and what it meant to raise a family. An unusual and gripping story, told with all the nuance and drama of a novel, this is a memoir illuminated with heartbreaking insight into the very real lives of the dead, and hard-won hope for all those who carry on after.


I would like to thank both Alison Pick and Bookbridgr for a review copy of this book.

I don't tend to review non-fiction very often but when I read the blurb for this book I found myself compelled to read it.

Alison Pick discovered at a young age that her family had once been Jewish and that her grandparents had fled Europe during World War II in a hope of running from the carnage that tore countries apart and resulted in the horrific murder of millions of people. As a result of this revelation Pick found herself drawn to the cultural heritage and lives of her family as well as others who, like her, were trying to work out where they belonged. Her journey forwards leads her down paths she wasn't expecting and she soon realises that reclaiming her heritage will not be as easy as she thought.

Pick writes her memoir with honesty and compassion for those lost, looking at her family with sincere interest and respect. Her resulting memoir tells of her journey towards finding the truth hidden under decades of secrets and denial and her acceptance of the way she wants to live her life and the people she meets along the way.

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