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Looking Up: A Memoir of Sisters, Survivors and Skokie Paperback – March 31, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 103 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Humor and tragedy blend seamlessly in this memoir of childhood upbringing and family trauma...A memoir whose heart pays considerable homage to its subjects." - Kirkus Reviews

"...It's a book about Holocaust survivors, yes, but it's also a coming-of-age story, a personal recounting of what it's like to live in a large family and the dynamics of the relationships within it."
Mike Isaacs, the Skokie Review, a Chicago Sun-Times Publication

"...Pressman is a talented writer and this book is a testament to her parents' truly indomitable will." -Publishers Weekly

"A memoir that is truly memorable." - Writer's Digest

"Looking Up is a superbly written autobiography that truly deserves being awarded the 20th Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Grand Prize Book Award, as well as rave reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews. Looking Up is highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library Contemporary American Biography collections." - The Midwest Book Review

From the Back Cover

"Linda Pressman paints a vivid portrait of her Holocaust survivor parents' assimilation into American culture, while raising their seven daughters in Skokie, Illinois. Looking Up: A Memoir of Sisters, Survivors and Skokie is horrifying, tender and irreverent. A skillful and engaging writer, Pressman allows the richness of her European ancestry to shine in spite of bearing the weight of her parents' trauma. This book about a family of nine figuring out life's complexities is like no other memoir I've read on the Holocaust." Sandra Hurtes, Author of On My Way To Someplace Else and RESCUE: A Memoir.


"Linda Pressman gives us a glimpse into a world that no longer exists as a child of survivors who attempts to navigate both the old and new world. With grace and honesty, she taps into the hearts of her family and into her own heart, and gives us stories that will pierce the heart of the reader." Janet R. Kirchheimer, Teaching Fellow at the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership and the author of How To Spot One Of Us.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 145647068X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1456470685
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,658,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a picky reader. There are many books I pick up and can't finish because the promise of the early pages doesn't continue into the rest of the book. That wasn't the case with the book Looking Up: A Memoir of Sisters, Survivors and Skokie, written by Linda Pressman.

For two days straight I read this book, both laughing and crying. Now I'm reading it again. I'm not Jewish and I'm not from the Chicago area, but this author wrote my life. In it she paints a compelling portrait of the world of her childhood, filled with Holocaust Survivor relatives, American neighbors, six sisters, and parents who are always on the run, even when they are sitting still. Read it now. Seriously.

My only concern: when can I buy book two?
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Congratulations Linda and thanks for sharing the story of your family. I was engaged throughout the book and could not wait to turn the pages.

For anyone who grew up in Skokie it is a must read. As one of five I could relate too many of the stories you shared about growing up with six sisters. My grandfather came from Lithuania and I loved hearing his terms of endearment echoed throughout your family stories.

Well Done!!
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This book is so well-written, with so much love, warmth, humor and the ability to draw you in with every sentence. The writer is a truly awesome talent who brings the people and situations to life with such eloquence, you can't put it down. I an a voracious reader and it has been a long time since I was so captivated by a book. Every page brought laughter, tears and memories, as I am an ex-Skokie person too. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone. I can't wait for Linda's next book! What a tremendous talent!
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This is the kind of storytelling that makes you put life on hold so that you can finish the book. I am not Jewish but I related to the memoir because of the humorous and honest style of writing as she remembers her life in a family of 7 girls. The author has the same charm and wit as Garrison Keillor as she makes her ordinary life sound extraordinary in the poignant stories of coming of age in Skokie, Illinois. I literally was laughing out loud page after page because she has such a keen sense of the ridiculous.
This is a very insightful memoir written with details that made me laugh and cry. I didn't want it to end!
Yes, the Holocaust is ever present in her recollections but the book is first and foremost a book about what it was like to exist and thrive and find meaning in life in spite of the tragic events in the lives of both her mother and father. She demonstrates a genuine fondness for her sisters, parents and extended family of other Holocaust survivors. This is a happy book that I will read again because it is so much fun!
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Recommended reading. A personal experience of surviving the Holocaust as seen through the eyes of the author's mother. An experience that haunted her and her family throughout their lives leaving them frozen in time. The book is not without humor as I found myself laughing at the author's very visual description of people and her childhood events. Imagine yourself living with six sisters. I was the fifth of seven sisters so I could totally relate. I could not put the book down until my reading was completed. Hopefully, there is a sequel in the works. This book has been an inspiration to my daughter to continue writing her personal journal of relationships. We all have in us a personal story to tell.
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Stunning! I couldn't put Looking Up down. This author was able to weave some heartbreakingly painful, astonishingly detailed memories of her parent's Holocaust stories with a not-so-typical but extremely familiar upbringing into a laughing one minute, crying the next trip through time. I can't wait for the next one by Linda Pressman, her humor and talent are amazing.
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This book was an amazing read!!! Linda is so descriptive in this book that you feel like you were there...you dig for more of the story. The book will make tears roll down your face in one moment then have you laughing out loud in the next moment. I am so proud of my aunt Linda! Yes, Linda is my aunt. My mom is one of the twins. My Bubbe is like a 2nd mother to me. My aunts like 2nd moms. All 6 of them calling me to checking on me...not knowing which voice was my mom's and which my aunts. They share the same laugh and there is no mistaking that they are 7 close sisters brought up under one small roof. In the book you will hear about the personalities, the upbringing, the baseline of what made my grandparents who there are and who they were. The book is not just geared towards people of Jewish decent, or people with exuberant grandparents (Bubbes/Zada's) like mine nor do you need a mid-west background to relate. The book is entertaining and factual all at once. It's a quick read because your engulfed in it from page 1. You can't put it down and then of course there is the tragedy of finishing the book and wanting more. I think this is a book worth owning, worth adding to your book club or book collection. I know you too will put both thumbs up in your review. Congratulations for writing such a wonderful book. I love you!
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