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Hiding Places: A Father and His Sons Retrace Their Family's Escape from the Holocaust Paperback – August 27, 2002

4.6 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Brilliant and unconventional, this account combines the tale of novelist and PEN Award-winning short-story writer Rose's (Flipping for It) childhood as an assimilated Jewish kid in a mostly Christian Connecticut suburb with another story--a search for both past and future. Rose was a reckless, religiously ambivalent kid with a passion for hiding places (reared as he was on his Belgian-born mother's vivid tales of relatives who were forced to hide from the "Not-sees"). Now 38 and divorced, Rose, struggling to bond with his sons (Alex, 12, and Marshall, 7), of whom he has partial custody, takes them to Europe to trace the journey that one of his mother's cousins took with his twin daughters in an effort to escape the Nazis (in the end, the father escaped, but the girls were killed). With little to go on but anecdotal evidence and a cryptic diary, Rose and his sons make their way by train, bicycle and on foot through Belgium, France and Spain. As they search for their relatives' various hiding places, they meet strangers who remember the escapees and offer to help guide Rose and his sons to the next hiding place. Rose's accounts of daily life with Alex and Marshall--and of his struggles to make a cohesive family unit--are searingly honest, making for sometimes painful but always compelling reading. Most remarkable, however, is his clear portrayal of the connection between past, present and future, and between self and community. He powerfully illustrates that it's impossible to outrun a bitter legacy, but he also shows how such a legacy can, when confronted, form the foundation for a sweeter future.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Rose, a freelance writer and author (Flipping for It), tells two parallel stories. The first describes growing up as an assimilated, and often alienated, American Jew, while the second recounts his trip to Europe with his two sons, trying to discover what happened to relatives who were caught in the Holocaust 50 years before. Rose's story of alienation, self-hatred, and rage may strike a responsive chord in readers who grew up in similar circumstances. Blending insightful postwar recollections with a moving tribute to his sons, Rose's book affirms that, as survivor recollections are supplemented by those of their children, the proliferation of memoir literature will continue. While it is a little troubling that it takes a trip to investigate the Holocaust to make someone more comfortable with his Jewish roots, Rose, in writing this book, completes one of the most important mitzvahs (commandments) of Jewish life: he remembers. For public libraries and Holocaust collections.
-Frederic Krome, Jacob Rader Marcus Ctr. of the American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press (August 27, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609809156
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609809150
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,189,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Linda Linguvic HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Daniel Rose grew up in Connecticut, in a lobster fishing town. He always felt different because of his Jewishness even though his family was assimilated. Later, after a fractured marriage, he wanted his young sons, aged 7 and 12 to really understand their heritage, especially in terms of the Holocaust, and so he took them to Europe to discover their roots. They looked up relatives who had survived the horror and still lived in Belgium, and from there they set out on a journey to retrace the actual events of the life one of their relatives, an ancient eccentric old man who gave them his diary as a roadmap.
In addition, in alternating chapters, we learn of Mr. Rose's Connecticut boyhood. Not only does he describe the events, but he's able to recapture every nuance of feeling that must have been difficult to dredge up from memory. He makes fun of his orthodox relatives, he battles the school bully, but most of all, he keeps coming back to the recurrent theme of the book --his hiding places.
Foremost though, is his relationship with his own sons, and the unique loving relationship between the three of them. Some of the things that they were exposed to on the trip were not pleasant, but they all came through it enriched by the experience. This was a difficult subject to write about, but somehow Mr. Rose managed to do it with humor. While I didn't laugh out loud, I found myself smiling throughout.
There's a lot of detail in the book, each one adding further insight into each of the characters. It's more than just description; the reader really feels the emotion. There's mystery here too as well as unsolved questions. And there sure is a lot to think about. Afterwards, I couldn't get the book out of my mind and I don't know if I ever will. I must thank Mr. Rose for writing it. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
I began reading this book early on a Saturday morning and didn't leave the house until evening - I didn't want to stop reading. I really loved the description of what it's like to grow up as part of a tiny minority in a very uniform U.S. town. I also liked hearing about the sense of well-being and inner strength that the author felt as a boy - I actually found it inspiring, although I'm a grown woman. The author is a travel writer who obviously feels at home in the world and among strangers, and I liked being in his company during his trip back to Europe with his two young sons. More than anything, I liked the descriptions of how it feels to subtly know one is different as a child, and I liked how the author found the gumption - as a boy and as a man - to gracefully confront those who distorted the truth. I felt that this book put into words many experiences I'd had, and I myself somehow felt more understood by the time I was done reading this book. I felt my own expriences made more sense from having read this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the story of how Daniel Rose and his two sons both reclaimed their past and at the same time, forged a stronger and more lasting relationship between themselves. After a devastating divorce, Daniel takes his two sons on a trip to Belgium, partly to explore his own past, but, also to help his own relationship with his sons after his divorce. Daniel was able to contact an elderly relative that survived the Holocaust, meeting with him was one of the most fascinating parts of his trip. While I very much liked certain parts of this book, the part that seemed the longest was Daniel's childhood memories. It just seemed too involved. I was more interested in the relationship with Daniel and his sons, also the trip to Belgium was so interesting. Where I got really confused, however, was towards the end of the book. I wasn't sure what was going on, did the time frame change? Was this a dream, something imagined or what? I did finish the book, but, I finished it confused which was why I gave it three stars. I did really admire how Daniel worked on his relationship with the boys, I kind of wished I had had something like that in my own life.
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Format: Hardcover
I always wondered what it is like to grow up Jewish in a Gentile culture. Now I know. This is not really a "Holocaust book." (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) It's a book about boyhood - with lots and lots of different levels. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Don't be put off by the subject matter. It's fun to read, not ponderous. Make a good movie. Bob Smith
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Format: Hardcover
I found this to be a really beautiful, dramatic memoir with the pacing of an espionage novel. It also has the curiosity and sensuality of the best sort of investigation of childhood. The author tries to come to grips with his childhood experience of being an outsider in a conformist, wealthy, white-bread Connecticut town. He also describes the pilgrimage he took with his own children to the places where his grandparents sought refuge during the Holocaust. My favorite parts of this book, though, had nothing to do with childhood or with the Holocaust: they had to do with conveying, ever so accurately, his experience of divorce - the cold house the author lived in after his wife left him, the terrors and love and longing to have his family back, and the ways he was finally able to heal himself and his family through a trip to the places where his relatives disappeared. Dan Rose's mother stands out as a gloriously portrayed figure - a survivor piecing together a bright life for herself of cocktail parties and art shows, all while contending with overwhelming grief. Dan Rose's pleasure in his children made me want children of my own!
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