We Must Never Lose Hope
Posted by Literary Titan
Where the Lilacs Bloom Once Again is based on the true historical experiences of generations of a Jewish Romanian family and their acquaintances before World War II. Why was this an important book for you to write?
There are two main reasons that led me to write this book and to reveal my family’s stories. It was especially important for me to publish the book now.
The personal motive relates to my father’s death.
In December 2009 my father passed away. I went home for the funeral and found an old family photo album, a handwritten family tree, and a note that read “Write their stories, tell the world what really happened to them.”
And so, I did.
I wrote this book to tell my family’s stories. I wrote this book to give the silenced stories a voice.
My second motive for writing this book relates to the increasing incidents of anti-Semitism that we are experiencing these days. I believe with all my heart that history is doomed to repeat itself.
We must keep telling, we must share our past, we must learn from history, otherwise, the truth may be lost, and hate is doomed to be repeated.
What research did you undertake for this book to ensure you got all the details right?
The book is a culmination of 12 years of family research. I was able to find a lot of supporting and personal documents, but there are still many questions that remain open.
After my father’s funeral I returned back home. I had the old family album, the handwritten family tree and many questions.
I started researching. I read everything I could find about the history of Romania in general and the history of the Jewish communities in Romania in particular. I interviewed dozens of people, relatives who are still with us, and their children and grandchildren who knew little or some about their family’s history in Romania.
For many hours, I sat in the archives and read, researched and asked. I was able to find some old personal documents as birth certificates, photos of graves, and more.
I reached out to Jewish organizations and other research groups via social media and Facebook groups. I also received help from an organization who research the communist crimes
The puzzle is not complete. I continue to research and learn and dig into every piece of information.
The Romania’s archives and databases are few and limited, but I refuse to give up. I continue to search, to look for more answers, and I will not rest until I find the last piece of the puzzle.
What were some ideas that were important for you to share in this book?
The family I grew up in was loving, warm and close-knit. My father was an honest, hard working man who believed in the values of modesty, humility, and honesty. I admired those qualities in my father. Family was a top value for Dad and from a young age he made sure to visit the “elders” in the family, respect them, and learn from their wisdom.
In this book I present the family stories on which I grew up and was educated upon. Honest and kind people who had to deal with an oppressive and murderous regime. My great-grandmother Rosa, who lost her brother and his family in the Iasi massacre, my grandmother Aurica (Golda) who had to flee and leave behind everything that was familiar to her, and my grandmother’s cousin, Friddie, an innocent young girl who fell in love with the wrong man, was arrested, tortured, accused of a crime she didn’t commit, and spent 13 years in prison and in labor camp.
And despite all the suffering they went through, they continued to believe in compassion, in justice, in the kindness of mankind.
What is one thing you hope readers take away from your book?
We must remember, we must respect our elders, learn from their wisdom, and we must never lose hope. There is always a new day, a better world, a world where humanity will succeed in overcoming evil. We should never forget our history, and we should never let evil overcome.
Posted in Interviews
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Where the Lilacs Bloom Once Again
Posted by Literary Titan
Where the Lilacs Bloom Once Again is based on the true historical experiences of generations of a Jewish Romanian family and their acquaintances before World War II. The novel focuses on Friddie, a young woman of Romanian descent who dreams of living freely. At eighteen, Friddie rebelliously cancels her marriage and, against her family’s wishes, marries Freddy. Their union is short-lived however, leading to years of adversity for Friddie. Her story is told alongside that of her family members, like Aunt Rosa, Uncle David and her Cousins who are victims of the dictatorial and communist rule that plagued Romania for years.
It is clear from the author’s narration that Friddie’s story is an important landmark in the family’s history, passed down from generation to generation. Although I felt the stories were disconnected at the beginning, they slowly came together with different perspectives. It is a tragic story of a large family that was scattered abroad due to anti-Semitism. It is sadly ironic that Freddie, who dreams of living as a free woman, spends the better part of her youth locked up under the worst circumstances.
This thought-provoking and impassioned novel showcases the gruesome loss of lives, grief and the inhumanity during one of the most difficult times in human history. Some of the scenes are graphic, featuring explicit descriptions of maiming, slavery, genocide, and infanticide. Despite these, a love story is forged in the most unlikely place, reestablishing the theme of keeping hope alive when things seem hopeless.
The author’s writing style is easy to follow and how she tells the story keeps the reader engaged throughout. There are heartbreaking moments, but the book also shares wisdom and great life lessons. Where the Lilacs Bloom Once Again by Roni Rosenthal is a tragic but beautiful story that is evocative and heart wrenching but ultimately uplifting.
Pages: 203 | ASIN: B0BC5LF1KQ
Posted in Book Reviews, Four Stars
Tags: author, biography, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, family saga, fiction, goodreads, historical fiction, indie author, kindle, kobo, literature, memoir, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, Roni Rosenthal, story, Where the Lilacs Bloom Once Again, womens fiction, writer, writing