Monday, June 19, 2017

Reading Now (June 2017): A Jew Grows in Brooklyn

Being American


First Generation American: I picked up this book at a second-hand shop; I paid 50 cents, a wonderful bargain. A Jew Grows in Brooklyn (2010), by Jake Ehrenreich, the son of immigrant parents from Poland, was born sometime during the 1950s in Brooklyn during post-war America. Both his parents survived the Holocaust, and both his parents came to America after spending time in a displaced-persons camp. They did the best that they could, considering the circumstances; perhaps better than most. These salient facts are important, since these facts intruded into the lives of their children, unintentionally of course but they most certainly did. This book gives some insight on how these facts, birthed in trauma and tragedy, shaped the lives of Jake and his two sisters. The stories within the book’s pages are as much as his parents as they are about Jake and his sisters. He tells the stories with a mix of seriousness and humor. Life is serious, but it is also funny with moments of absurdity, that become evident after taking some distance from the subject. I marvel at persons who can laugh at, or make light of, their personal losses and misfortunes. Very uplifting.
Photo Credit & Source: ©2017. Perry J. Greenbaum

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