Growing up in a tight-knit Christian family, Alison Pick went to church regularly. But as a teenager, she discovered a remarkable family secret: her paternal grandparents fled from the Czech Republic at the start of WWII because they were Jewish. Tragically, other family members who hesitated to emigrate were sent to Auschwitz.
Haunted by the Holocaust, Alison’s grandparents established themselves in their new lives as Christians. Not even Alison’s father knew of his parents’ past until he visited the Jewish cemetery in Prague as an adult. This atmosphere of shame and secrecy haunted Alison’s journey into adulthood.
Drowning in a sense of emptiness, she eventually came to realize that her true path forward lay in reclaiming her history and identity as a Jew, and she began attending conversion classes. But the process was far from easy as old wounds were opened, and all of her relationships were tested.
Worth Getting in Bed For? Yes I can certainly see why Pick has the accolades underher belt. This is a book that is hard to put down. Especially if you are addicted to stories of spiritual quests and long depressive sad lives to compare to your own fucked up life. If you are, and I certainly am, this is the perfect book for you.
Pick finds out her grandparents escaped from Czechoslovakia and pretended to be Christians. Her world and faith is rocked when she learns of her Jewish Heritage and that her relatives have died in Auschwitz. She chronicles her discovery and research and you can’t begin to imagine her pain or confusion. I have visited Aushwitz and it is a sobering piece and place in history that forever haunts. I cannot begin to imagine a discovery such as Pick’s and its subsequent impact. She becomes obsessed with the subject. She has nightmares.
Prone to depression, Pick seeks therapy while she explores Judaism and possible conversion. Is she genetically prone to depression from her father? Is she genetically prone to Judaism from her father? Masterfully, Pick chronicles her journey with an edge of mystery and anticipation to her writing. This is not a dry retelling of psychotherapy and Hebrew class but a lovely pattern of prose and research and history. I wanted to keep reading to find out if she stays with her fiance, if she converts, if she finally does the dishes. There is so much to her story and it’s worth every page.
About the Author Alison Pick was the Bronwen Wallace Award winner for the most promising writer under thirty-five in Canada. Her first novel is The Sweet Edge, and her second novel, the bestseller Far to Go, was nominated for the Man Booker Prize, won the Canadian Jewish Book Award for Fiction, and was named a “Top 10 of 2010” book by theToronto Star. Between Gods, named a “Best Book” by both the Globe and Mail and CBC, has been nominated for the prestigious BC National Award for Nonfiction.
Find out more about Alison at her website and connect with her on Facebook