Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My Mother's Secret

 
[Cover]
 
Okay, so I read a lot of wonderful books over Christmas/New Years and this is another one.
 
My Mother's Secret is a moving Holocaust story - historical fiction based on fact. The author, J.L. Witterick is donating 100% of the proceeds of the sale of this novel at Chapters/Indigo to The Love of Reading Foundation.
 
It's easy to be inspired by Franciszka Halamjowa and her daughter. Living in the small town of Sokal in Poland they make the decision, amazing to us, perhaps, in light of the danger to themselves, but a "no-brainer" decision for these compassionate women, to provide sanctuary to Jewish families during the German occupation.
 
As we follow the events in the story, it's difficult not to wonder how we would have fared in this situation, whatever character we were. It's easy to agree now with Elie Wiesel, that "To remain silent and indifferent is the greatest sin of all", not so easy to see ourselves living out that philosophy in a state of mortal danger. Since we never know what we are or are not capable of until it is right there before us, decision-time, in fact, so much greater is our appreciation of those brave people during war who opt to do what they can to save others.
 
The decision these women made saved 15 lives. At the same time they lost beloved family members, endured terrible hardships and lived at risk of all of their lives. Thank goodness for storytellers who keep these memories alive and who remind us that we too have the ability to find greatness within.