Book Review: Bending Toward the Sun

11 Oct

I recently had the pleasure of reading Bending Toward the Sun, a powerful memoir composed by former NBC executive Leslie Gilbert-Lurie and her mother, Rita Lurie.

The story begins with the voice of Rita Lurie, who reveals that she was forced to leave her home in Poland to hide from the Nazis.  From 1942 to 1944, her family hid in the dark attic of a sympathetic neighbor.  Barely surviving on scraps of food, Rita endured the loss of her loving mother and younger brother, as they died before her very eyes within the confines of the cramped attic.  Miraculously, Rita, her father, and her sister survived the horror of World War II, and began to look for a country that would accept them within their borders.

Years later, Rita is married to a man who gives her the security she’s always longed for, and never found with her father, his new wife Clara, and her sister Sandra.  Now a mother herself to daughters Leslie and Gwyn, and son David, Rita sees that her feelings of fear and guilt have been passed down to her children.  When the book turns to Leslie’s point of view, we find a daughter who desperately wanted to take care of her mother, for fear that any pain would remind Rita of her horrible childhood and the suffering she endured.  And while Leslie makes a name for herself as a lawyer, executive and philanthropist, she finds that her mother’s past still influences her outlook on life, as well as that of her own daughter, Mikaela.

This memoir serves as a powerful reminder of the devastation caused by the Holocaust, and similar tragedies that have a lasting impact.  By conducting interviews with those who knew young Rita best, Leslie and Rita begin to understand how those tragic two years (and the years of recovery that followed) affected Rita, and the generations to follow.   

A copy of this book was provided to me by FSB Associates.  I received no compensation in exchange for this review.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

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2 Responses to “Book Review: Bending Toward the Sun”

  1. Janet October 11, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    Sounds like a powerful story. I never fail to be awed by the stories of those who survived the Holocaust. I wanted you to know I'm reading and loving Outlive Your Life. My oldest daughter wants to read it when I'm finished and then I think we will pass it on so others might be inspired.

  2. 1 Funky Woman October 16, 2010 at 11:11 am #

    This looks like a wonderful story. I am definitely putting it on my to read list, thanks!Megan

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