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Remembering Judith - A true story of shattered childhoods [Kindle Edition]

Ruth Joseph
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This hauntingly moving tale of a daughter's devotion to her anorexic mother tugs at the heartstrings and plays on the mind for long after you've finished it. - Prima Magazine

A true story of shattered childhoods...

Following her escape from Nazi Germany and the loss of her family Judith searches for unconditional love and acceptance. In a bleak boarding house she meets her future husband – another Jewish refugee who cares for her when she is ill.Tragically she associates illness with love and a pattern is set. Judith’s behaviour eventually spiral into anorexia – a disease little known or understood in 1950’s Britain.

While she starves herself, Judith forces Ruth, her daughter, to eat. She makes elaborate meals and watches her consume them. She gives her a pint of custard before bed each night. As the disease progresses roles are reversed. Ruth must care for her mother and loses any hope of a normal childhood. The generation gap is tragically bridged by loss and extreme self-loathing, in this moving true story of a family’s fight to survive.

Ruth Joseph lives in Cardiff, Wales where she is part of the strong Jewish community. She has a strong, evovative voice which speaks directly to the reader about guilt, love and food. Her work has perviously been published by Honno, Parthian and Loki.


Product Details

  • File Size: 570 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Accent Press (July 21, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008NWZLQA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,859 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Dysfunctional families exist in every culture and country. Each of them is unique within the confines of its community. But some exist in such a wide concept we are taken with the matrix of the dysfunction and how it came to be. This is so true of "Remembering Judith-A True Story of Shattered Childhoods." A story of unhappiness that traces its roots to the exodus of Jewish children from the European continent to the insecurity of a strange country and family life in WWII England and into the post war boom of the 50's and 60's.

Although we have heard of those children who were spirited out of Germany and other European countries prior to WWII, we have little information on how they adapted and survived being taken from their families and sent into a world they were unprepared for. Taking teens and younger children and trying to immerse them into a culture, lifestyle, language and sometimes even religion that they did not understand and were unprepared for had to leave a lasting impression which, in some cases, led to fear and lifetime dysfunction. "Remembering Judith" is the story of one teen girl who left her home in Germany to become a lifelong resident of England. Her story is both a celebration of the human ability to endure and a handbook for the emotional devastation of separation from family and culture.

Judith is transported to England as an adolescent and learns very quickly that she must be the master of her own destiny. Just as she begins to become her own woman with a job she loves and a future she is determined for herself, she becomes ill. During her illness she meets the man she will marry. A good man at the time, but a man unsuitable to her. Feeling alone, abandoned and trapped she marries and has a daughter.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read. November 4, 2012
By L. Kaba
Format:Kindle Edition
Wow, I don't know what to say, how to put this in words. I've gone through every emotion imaginable reading this, the strongest being sadness and anger. What a tragic, compelling biography...I was unable to put it down because I couldn't wait to see if poor Judith's life got any better. I am definitely recommending this to my friends and family. I just wish I could give the author a big old hug.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Strong lessons but a disappointing read February 5, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This tragic story had lots of potential, but never lives up to it. The first two-thirds of the book is an endless repetition of the dysfunctional, hellish relationship among the author, her manipulative mother, and her cold and hateful father. There comes a time where she has gotten the point across and fails to hold her reader due to the absence of new material. Once the author's mother dies, she continues to describe the abuse from her father, which she allowed, in the same fashion. She has a wonderful husband and two beautiful children who barely exist in this writing. To top it all off, she really has no resolution. In the brief final chapters, it is apparent that the passing of her parents and her attempts at working through the damage of her childhood remain essentially unhealed. I found this a frustrating and almost endless book. If you are dealing with anorexia in yourself or your family, this might be helpful. If not, it may not be worth your time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Read May 12, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I got this when it was offered for free a while back, and just finished reading it. It's an autobiography of a girl whose mother suffered from anorexia (though I don't think she explicitly said so), and the problems her mother's illness caused her family.

Though it starts off with really lovely phrasing and style, it eventually becomes repetitive. Timelines become somewhat confused as Ms. Joseph incorporates flashbacks abruptly into the modern narrative. Though its tagline suggests she will explore her mother's childhood as well as her own, there is very little mention of the unfortunate circumstances of her mother's girlhood (sent to England to avoid Hitler's march across Europe).

The raw emotions come through, but it also seems Ms. Joseph would benefit from therapy as she harbors so much guilt for her mother and father's problems, when clearly she is not to blame. By the end of the book, I wanted to shake Ms. Joseph and tell her just that, as she dwells on her inner demons.

I hope writing the book was cathartic for her. It is an interesting enough read, but as a memoir in need of editing and not a full-fledged autobiography.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read November 20, 2012
By Murphy
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This story really moved me. My heart went out to those that suffered so much trauma in their lives. It made me think about how fortunate I am in comparison.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting May 28, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a detailed and emotional story of physical and mental illness. The child, Ruth, copes with her mother's anorexia and neediness by trying to become the perfect child. Her father is a cruel, angry man who withholds his presence and caring from both his daughter and his wife. This is a fascinating portrait of a dysfunctional family that will grab you from the beginning.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wrenching May 8, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a heartbreaking story. Not sure if I'm glad I read it or not. May the author hang in there!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sad story May 4, 2014
By LaylaB
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I admire Ruth Joseph for her story. I can imagine it was very therapeutic for her. I found it to be therapeutic for me in some ways also, pertaining to her relationship with her father. I wish her and her family all the best to be able to resist and fight the disease her Mother suffered.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
This was a good story, very sad
Published 10 days ago by Mary S.
4.0 out of 5 stars tragic and well written
What courage it must have taken to write this story. I know many people who have suffered with eating disorders, but have only read or watched tv specials about cases this severe. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Momof3
3.0 out of 5 stars well written
Yet, so very sad. I hope this woman finds some peace. Amazing the torment parents inflict and we survive somehow.
Published 18 days ago by Marlana Rodgers
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Not my type of non-fiction.
Published 18 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Story
Amazing story of love, hurt and despair for anyone to live through. Must read for anyone who has anorexic or knows someone with it.
Published 29 days ago by Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
this is a good book. I couldn't wait to turn the page. I even imagined myself as her. It was that well written.
Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars beautifully written
This book is beautifully written. The author's choice of words is perfect the reading can see, smell, hear, taste and feel her descriptive prose. Read more
Published 1 month ago by cat lady
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fantastic book. A book wich will make you think long and hard.
Published 1 month ago by Georgina King
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent reading, great exposition of feelings, religion,and...
Great easy reading,keeps you entertained and excited about the next page or next chapter. Interesting description of the suffering of several individuals, whether it is about a... Read more
Published 2 months ago by mallky
3.0 out of 5 stars Powerful
This book is a powerful testimony to the damage an addiction can have on the whole family. The writer's description of her mother's eating disorders was difficult for me to read. Read more
Published 2 months ago by linda k
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