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The Butcher's Daughter: A Memoir Paperback – November 3, 2016
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Many family memoirs and memoirs of survival and struggle fall short of depicting the very nuances they seek to bring to life; but this isn't so in The Butcher's Daughter. Florence Grende's ability to lift the moments, impressions, thoughts, and passions from experience and capture them in their crystalline seconds of agony and ecstasy elevates her story above and beyond similar-sounding accounts, creating an singularly striking piece that doesn't have to hammer home its message, because every whisper is a powerhouse of passion. --Diane Donovan, Senior Editor, The Midwest Review
Florence Grende’s heartrending account of her Jewish upbringing, a child of Holocaust survivors, weaves a story of pain and sorrow, fear and anger, and the hidden melancholy, the depression that makes monsters out of otherwise ordinary people. The Butcher’s Daughter is a memoir that speaks for those too traumatized to voice their stories: the survivors and their children...This is more than just a memoir. It’s a testament: a statement of a life shattered because of a brutal war. Hitler’s evil affected more than just those who lived through it. His evil stretched into the next generation, not just amongst the Jews, but also amongst the children and the grandchildren of high ranking Nazis. A powerful story told with compassion. A must-read. --Emily-Jane Hills Orford, Readers' Favorite
About the Author
Florence Grende was born in American Occupied Germany to Holocaust survivor parents and grew up in the Bronx. As a young woman, she earned a Master of Social Work degree, and later, at age sixty, a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing. She hardly considers herself a late bloomer having pursued careers first as a therapist, then an AT&T union worker and a mixed-media artist. She holds an MFA from the Stonecoast writing program at the University of Southern Maine. Her stories and poems have appeared in "Litro Magazine," "Babel Fruit," "Poetica,""The Sun," "The Berkshire Review," "The Women's Times," and in the anthologies "Robot Hearts: True and Twisted Tales of Seeking Love in the Digital Age," and "The Widow's Handbook: Poetic Reflections on Grief and Survival." “The Butcher’s Daughter: A Memoir” is her first book.
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Top Customer Reviews
Part two of her memoir describes her attempt to gain an understanding of the experiences of her parents and their contemporaries in Poland during the terrible years of the Holocaust. For me, this was the most compelling part of all, as Grende describes the horrors of trying to survive during this time by living in the woods for months, even years at the time, every day and every night aware that this might be one's last before being captured or killed by the Nazis.
The last part describes the years after her father died and her ongoing relation with her mother, who to the end remained reticent about talking about living through the Holocaust. This section also details Grende's week in Wannsee, Germany with other descendants of survivors and perpetrators of the Third Reich, as she seeks "to confront the past and lay demons to rest."
"The Butcher's Daughter" is one of the most compelling memoirs I have read and one that I highly recommend.