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Extremely moving mix of fiction and memoir,
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This review is from: Too Jewish: Book 1, The Cooper Family Saga (Kindle Edition)
This book is a novel heavily influenced by the author's history of her family. She tells the story of her father, a German Jew who escaped Nazi Germany leaving his mother behind, who suffered survivor guilt all his life. He married an assimilated JAP in New Orleans and experienced rejection by his in-laws all his life for being "too Jewish". Apparently it's a fact that when his mother-in-law died she left the daughter's portion of the estate in trust so that she could only claim it after her "too Jewish" husband died. If anybody ever deserved to be buried in the basement it's this mother-in-law, I've rarely experienced such viceral revulsion reading about a character and I'm sorry that her daughter and son-in-law didn't leave New Orleans and have a completely different life away from the toxic influence of this evil woman. Yeah, she reminds me of my mother. Why do you ask?
The author's father did not end up as badly as the father character in the novel but it is clear that most of the recounting of the history of this man is based on fact. Significantly, the author's grandparent's and mother are now dead so she has been able to write what she pleases about them. As she recounts in an interview (search youtube for the author's name), she was born to write this book.
I'm not Jewish but this book had such moving and affecting passages that at times I had to put the book aside to digest what I'd read and compose myself to read more. A very powerful account of the cruelty of which human beings are capable, whether they use the macro weapons of the Nazis or the micro weapons of social rejection at a tea party.