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The Net of Dreams: A Family's Search for a Rightful Place Paperback – March 12, 1996

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

A book that is as distinct as it is complex, The Net of Dreams follows the author's parents' journey from the camps of Auschwitz to the streets of a small town in Ohio. As she tries to piece together the elements of her family's history and their reinvented and rediscovered life in America, she uncovers and honors hidden stories, providing an unforgettable portrait of an American family. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

The author's father, Alexander (Sanyi) Salamon, a Carpathian Czech doctor, was incarcerated in Dachau and survived, but he lost his first wife and their small daughter in the Holocaust. In 1946, Alexander married the author's mother, Lilly (Szimi), a Czech Jew who had survived Auschwitz, where both her parents perished. Julie Salamon (White Lies) begins this poignant family album with an account of the 1993 trip she made with her mother and stepfather to Poland, to the movie set where Steven Spielberg was filming Schindler's List. She interviews Spielberg, tours the concentration camps and tape-records her mother's memories of Nazi doctor Josef Mengele. The author's parents moved to New York in 1947, then in 1953 to an Appalachian Ohio village, where she was born and grew up. Her father died of cancer when she was 18. Beneath her girlhood's "Norman Rockwell trappings" lay the tragic past her parents hid from her, a past she painstakingly reconstructs in this deeply affecting memoir. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Random House (March 12, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812991699
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812991697
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,638,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Julie Salamon is a friend and a person I respect mightily, so I am not exactly objective. Nevertheless, I found her discovery of her family's history--and her trip to the death camps with her mother--remarkable and so compelling that I was unable to put it down. I read the book in 1996 and though I buy, read and donate hundreds of books a year, this one remains in our library. It will be a good resource for our children as they learn of the effects of the Holocaust on us all--and of human ability to overcome horrors. Alyssa A. Lappen
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Format: Paperback
I have been searching for this book for several years and I have finally found it(I forgot the title so it's been a long search)!I read it years ago and was moved to tears many times. Ms. Salamon describes her mothers history in such a way that you feel like you were right there with her. You can feel her joy and her pain. You get to know her before the war touched her life and all the way through her move to America and the start of her family. This was the only book I have ever read that I could not put down! It's unbelievably good!
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Format: Paperback
There is so much in this book...the history of Julie Salamon's parents Szimi and Sanyi Salamon, Jewish Holocaust survivors, it is the story of their lives before the war, what they endured and lost during the war, how they survived and met and ended up creating a nice 'American' family.

Julie Salamon's personal journey includes many interesting anecdotes, a detailed family tree and insight in to her mother's seemingly neurotic ideas about life. Her mother possessed this amazing insanity, where she was able to think the wonderful while enduring the unspeakable.

I thought it was so interesting to hear how Jews who survived the Holocaust would express distain for other surviving Jews because they were Polish or Hungarian or Russian. It seems that this pecking order that we endure and perpetrate against others is sometimes what gets us through our lot in life.

Julie, her mother and step-father take a trip to Poland to visit in Huszt and tour Auschwitz. During their travels her mother tells her many stories of her experience during her imprisonment in the concentration camp, things she never spoke of before. I thought it so insightful to describe the time after liberation as Genesis Day One, a vast re-creation.

I thought this was a very well told and well written history. My only criticism is that I felt this story was unfinished. Of course it's her life and she living so to a certain extent I certainly expected her story to continue after the book was done. But I was left to wonder how did her mother cope with the death of her father. How did she find her second husband Arthur? Did her mother find any peace in going back to Poland and Auschwitz?

Perhaps she will write another book so I can find out!
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Format: Hardcover
This is the most moving story of Holocaust survivors that I have ever read. While it does a great job describing author's parents' experiences in concentration camps, what makes it unique is its ability to also show how victims of that horror were able to put their lives back together and not be defeated by it. I also was moved by the author's own journey of discovery about her parents and who they were, aside from their identity as Survivors. All of us, I think, would relish the opportunity to really know who their parents are
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Format: Paperback
This book begins in 1993, when the author travels to Poland and to her parents' hometown of Huszt, Hungary (now Khust, Ukraine), together with her mother and stepfather, to rediscover her family's past and how it has shaped them and continues to influence them. Originally just Ms. Salamon was going to go to Poland, where Steven Spielberg was filming 'Schindler's List,' but her mother insisted she come along too, and that her stepfather, who had been a partisan, would come too. During their visit to Auschwitz and Huszt, Ms. Salamon began discovering a lot of things about her parents' past that she hadn't known before, or hadn't known about in such detail.

Her parents were from Carpathian Rus, a region that had changed hands numerous times between Hungary, Russia, Ukraine, and Czechoslovakia over the years. They had always thought of themselves as cultured Czechs and therefore superior to the shtetl Jews in places like Poland, Russia, and the Ukraine. The area they lived in, however, was eventually annexed to Hungary during the course of the war, and they found themselves suffering the same fate as Hungarian Jewry when the Nazis invaded in March of 1944 and herded them all into ghettoes. Ms. Salamon's mother Szimi (Lilly), twenty-one at the time of deportation, managed to survive through her friendship with two sisters and an amazing belief that this wasn't really so bad, that she was going to get through it and was never in any real danger in spite of what a deadly dangerous place she was in. Her father Sanyi (Alexander), who was significantly older than her mother (about thirteen and a half years), lost his first wife and child in one of the deportations, but survived first with the partisans and then in Dachau, due to his privileged position as a respected talented doctor.
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