Friday, March 6, 2015

by Miranda Richmond Mouillot

Something happened between Anna and Armand in 1948 that led them to split up. They both had been Jewish refugees fleeing from the Nazis in France. Luckily for them they evaded being captured and sent to a concentration camp. They ended up in neutral Switzerland and got married in 1944. It didn't last too long. A few years later, Anna walked out on Armand with the typewriter and their two children. They never spoke to each other again, never saw each other, neither one of them remarried, and never told their family what caused their separation.
Author Miranda Richmond Mouillot, the granddaughter of Anna and Armand, puts on her detective hat and delves into letters, archives, and even her grandparents to get at the truth. It took her ten years to write it all down. The hardest part was dragging the memories out of her reticent, aging grandparents. He would fly into a rage at the mention of her name and she would change the subject.
It took an inordinate amount of patience, love, and fortitude for Mouillot to uncover their story.
A Fifty-Year Silence is a stunner of a memoir. Mouillot's writing is absolutely gorgeous. She's such a masterful storyteller that you can't lift your head up for a minute, because you're so involved. The way she reconstructs their difficult and painful lives through the calamity of the Holocaust is riveting.
By learning about what happened between her grandparents, Mouillot discovers her own inner strength.
Very highly recommended.