Raab relates that this book is based on the journal her Jewish grandmother wrote in English in the late 1930s after her arrival in the U.S. The narrative begins with her childhood during World War I when she was 11 and ends with her immigration to the U.S. Regina Klein was born in Kalush, Galicia, in 1903 and killed herself when she was 61. Her journal describes the Austro-Hungarian invasion of Galicia in 1914, a cholera epidemic in 1915, Regina's escape from Galicia in 1916 after her mother's death, and her life as an orphan in Vienna. In 1997 Raab's mother gave her the journal, a transparent sheath filled with about 50 single-spaced typed pages "laden with strikeovers, awkward syntax, and numerous grammatical errors." Raab's impressions are interspersed with excerpts from the journal, offering a sensitive and penetrating image of their loving relationship. Cohen, George
Regina's story is a compelling one. I feel lucky to be a shared recipient in the find of this journal. Finding the journal and writing this book seemed to be a cathartic process for the author. One that I think will yield more results that we, the readers, will enjoy in future books as we have with Regina's Closet.
-April Sullivan for
When is the last time you finished a book and cried, not out of joy or sadness, but because of the astonishing strength of the human spirit? This book is extraordinary on so many different levels I hardly know where to start. --BookReview.com