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The Letters Project

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Member Reviews

The Letters Project
A Daughter's Journey
by Eleanor Reissa
Pub Date 18 Jan 2022 
 Post Hill Press 
 Biographies & Memoirs  |  History  |  Nonfiction (Adult) 

I am reviewing a copy of The Letters Project through Post Hills Press and Netgalley:

In 1986 Eleanor Reissa’s Mother died, she was sixty four years old and Eleanor went through her Mothers belongings In the back of her mother’s lingerie drawer, she found an old leather purse. Inside that purse was a large wad of folded papers. They were letters. Fifty-six of them. In German. Written in 1949. Letters from her father to her mother, when they were courting. Just four years earlier, he had fought to stay alive in Auschwitz and on the Death March while she had spent the war years suffering in Uzbekistan.   

By 1979 Eleanor a theatre artist who has been on the forefront of keeping Yiddish alive—finally had the letters translated. The particulars of those letters send her off on an unimaginable adventure into the past, forever changing her and anyone who reads this book.

If you’re looking for a courageously, gritty book, written by the daughter of Holocaust survivor, then I’d highly recommend The Letters Project.  

I give The Letters Project five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!
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Thank you @netgalley and Eleanor Reissa for the ARC of this book.

Wow how do you start to give feedback when you read something with such heavy information as well as being incredibly moving.

I found this book heartbreaking at times but completely moving and i loved how personal this special book was.

It was well written and easy to follow for those who are not familiar with the war and events. 

I am very interested and passionate about history and I found this book incredible.  

Thank you thank you.
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This book is a touching book about trying to understand her parents and their  experiences in the Holocaust. She finds letters that her mother keeps for years and decides to get them translated. She’s starting  a journey to understand the father who was such a mystery to her. This book will stay with you for a long time.
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Thank you to the author, Post Hill Press and NetGalley, for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

As with so many children of Holocaust survivors, these horrific and life-defining events were never mentioned to their children, or discussed in the home. After both her parents die, the author follows a breadcrumb trail issuing from letters she finds among her mother's belongings. These lead her to Germany, and through chance encounters, for example with friends of friends, she uncovers much more than she expected. The information she is able to gather expands her picture and understanding of who her parents were, and what their history included, and she shares the emotional turbulence this causes with her readers. The way she brings together the stories of different generations is very moving and personal, and the story doesn't let you go once you start. Not a fun or comfortable read, but a very good one.
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Beautifully written. It’s interesting the author wasn’t aware of more of her parents history prior to their deaths however I’m guessing this is generational and not uncommon. Very interesting story!
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Eleanor Reissa, whom I've known as a singer and enjoyed in concert, has now written a phenomenal book. When I saw the title of this book, I was immediately drawn to it as someone of roughly the same age and someone who has also discovered letters when cleaning out my deceased mother's apartment. 
Reissa sets us up for the impossibility of her journey with a chicken bones story that shows her personality and her imagination. That she decides to follow the path that the letters are beckoning her towards is another aspect of her personality which seems more and more endearing. She shares all the emotions very honestly with her readers and we learn all about her unusual family situation. It seems hardly possible that she could grow up not knowing very much of her parents' history, but her parents were of the generation that thought it "wasn't nice" to tell children sad stories. With both of her parents gone, it's up to Reissa to find out her family history with the help of the letters she finds and a few older relatives.

Reissa's writing style is wonderful. After all, she is an entertainer and she understands flow both verbally and in the written word. I had to stay up late at night to finish this book because I couldn't put it down, though I sometimes had to pause and take a deep breath. What a book!!
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