Review of Bending Toward the Sun by Rita Lurie and Leslie Gilbert-Lurie

If the sins of the father are visited upon the son, then are the sorrows of the mother to be carried on by the daughter? Reading Bending Toward The Sun by Leslie Gilbert-Lurie has made me ponder this. Bending Toward The Sun starts out with the narration of Rita, Leslie’s mother. Rita and some of her family members survived the Holocaust by hiding in the attic of a family friend. Rita’s tale is fascinating, I can’t help but ache for her. To be honest, I did cry a bit while reading her story. Eventually Leslie takes up the narration, and the rest of the memoir is about how Rita’s Holocaust survivor status has affected her life. For instance, Leslie experience severe separation anxiety growing up. She also felt pressured to become an overachiever.

I think the writing could have been a bit better, but I realize that Lurie isn’t a writer. She’s a television executive/consultant. I guess I don’t expect the narrative to be as good as that of someone who writes for a living. Interspersed throughout the book were photographs which I felt would have been less awkward if there had been some pages in the middle for them, or an appendix.

Reading Bending Toward The Sun has made me think about how some may perceive the Holocaust. Obviously, we all have learned about the horrors during the time period. What about after? I mean, do we picture those who have lived through hell as ambling back home and living the same life as before. I suppose I make that mistake from time to time. Rather, surviving the Holocaust had a lasting mental effect on Rita Lurie, who battled depression her whole life. It sucks that something like this robbed someone of something so precious, childhood. I understand Rita wanted to give her children the best possible childhood, but it seems her neurosis also affected her children. After finishing this book, I wouldn’t mind reading more about the children of Holocaust survivors, as it will help to expand my understanding of the impact of such a tragedy.

I would suggest a glass of kosher wine while reading this book. Drink to l’chaim, drink to hope and strength in darkness. While much of Bending Toward the Sun is dark, it’s ultimately about the strength of family ties and how much the past forms what we are today.

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

Comments

  1. Kelly Moran says

    it sounds very inspiring. love the cover.

  2. Rachel Belle says

    Great review! Sounds interesting; I might have to add it to my list. (:

    I love how to recommend wine, too, lol. Wine connoisseur, are you? 😉

  3. justanotherbookaddict says

    Sounds interesting.

    I gave you an award:
    http://justanotherbookaddict.blogspot.com/2009/09/my-3rd-award-lets-be-friends.html

    ~Lindsay
    JABA

  4. Rachel Belle says

    I've been legal to drink for a year, too, but I've never tried win. I'm not much of a drinker anyway. I can count on one hand how many times I've had something alcholic to drink with dinner. My friends think I'm silly. 😉

    But it's the recommending the wine to complement the story that makes your blog so unique! (:

  5. Just got this one in the mail this week. I'm going to read it then share it with my mom.

  6. Oh I really think I'd love this book!
    I'm really into reading books about WWII era. The Book Thief is still consuming my thoughts!

  7. justicejenniferreads says

    This book sounds really interesting. I feel like a lot of people have been reading books about the Holocaust lately but this one is really different from the typical book about the time period – it looks a little further into the aftermath of the atrocities that people suffered.

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