Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Review: Bending Toward the Sun by Leslie Gilbert-Lurie

Bending Toward the Sun by Leslie Gilbert-Lurie
Book Description: A miraculous lesson in courage and recovery, Bending Toward the Sun tells the story of a unique family bond forged in the wake of brutal terror. Weaving together the voices of three generations of women, Leslie Gilbert-Lurie and her mother, Rita Lurie, provide powerful—and inspiring—evidence of the resilience of the human spirit, relevant to every culture in every corner of the world. By turns unimaginably devastating and incredibly uplifting, this firsthand account of survival and psychological healing offers a strong, poignant message of hope in our own uncertain times.About the Author: Leslie Gilbert-Lurie is a writer, lawyer, teacher, and child advocate. She is a member and past President of the Los Angeles County Board of Education, and has just completed a memoir, Bending Toward the Sun, scheduled to be published by Harper Collins in the Fall of 2009.  

Rita Lurie was five years old when she was forced to flee her home in Poland to hide from the Nazis. From the summer of 1942 to mid-1944, she and fourteen members of her family shared a nearly silent existence in a cramped, dark attic, subsisting on scraps of raw food. Young Rita watched helplessly as first her younger brother then her mother died before her eyes. Motherless and stateless, Rita and her surviving family spent the next five years wandering throughout Europe, waiting for a country to accept them. The tragedy of the Holocaust was only the beginning of Rita's story.
Decades later, Rita is a mother herself, the matriarch of a close-knit family in California. Yet in addition to love, Rita unknowingly passes to her children feelings of fear, apprehension, and guilt. Her daughter Leslie, an accomplished lawyer, media executive, and philanthropist, began probing the traumatic events of her mother’s childhood to discover how Rita’s pain has affected not only Leslie’s life and outlook but also Leslie’s daughter’s, Mikaela’s. A decade-long collaboration between mother and daughter, Bending Toward the Sun reveals how deeply the Holocaust remains in the hearts and minds of survivors, influencing even the lives of their descendants. It also sheds light on the generational reach of any trauma, beyond the initial victim. Drawing on interviews with the other survivors and with the Polish family who hid five-year-old Rita, Leslie and Rita bring together the stories of three generations of women—mother, daughter, and granddaughter—to understand the legacy that unites, inspires, and haunts them all.



Gilbert-Lurie also is a founding board member and immediate past President of the Alliance for Children's Rights, a non-profit legal rights organization for indigent children, chair of the education committee for the Los Angeles Music Center, and a board member of several schools including Sierra Canyon and New Visions Foundation. Finally, she has just completed serving as a member of the mayor's task force charged with developing a new cultural plan for the City of Los Angeles.
Previously, Leslie spent close to a decade as an executive at NBC, where, at various times, she oversaw NBC Productions, Comedy, wrote television episodes, and co-founded a new NBC in-house production company, Lurie-Horwits productions. As a lawyer, Leslie worked briefly at the law firm of Manatt, Phelps, Rothenberg and Tunney and served as a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Law Clerk. She is a graduate of UCLA and UCLA School of Law.
Leslie lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son, daughter and step-son.
Here's What I think: Memoirs are not always my thing. Especially really emotional ones, but Gilbert-Lurie writes in such a way that I cared instantly where the story would go. I wanted to see how the tale unfolded. What I really liked about this particular story is that while there was plenty of heartache and dread, she included the few moments of happiness. Those rare times when a smile was shared despite the horror. This really made it more real for me. It is a difficult subject to read about but the author makes it bearable with her eloquent words, while still not romanticizing this terrible time in human history.
 



Disclaimer: Although I did receive a copy of the this title for review purposes, I was in no other way compensated to publish this post. These are my real and honest opinions.

If you are an author and/or publishing house and would like for me to publish a review of your book, please feel free to contact me at: polsen11atcomcastdotnet

1 comment:

I love love love love to hear what other people think - share your thoughts so we can start a dialogue!