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My Father's Roses

by Nancy Kohner - £9.99  Hodder & Stoughton (2009)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9780340960264 | ISBN 10: 0340960264

Some families save and others throw away. The Kohners, a Jewish family living in Bohemia at the end of the nineteenth century, threw very little away. A hundred years later their casually assembled archive of over a thousand family letters, hundreds of photos, diaries and notebooks, pieces of verse, invoices, tickets and programmes, tells a unique story.
 
Like most families, they are as concerned with their own affairs as with world events. Two parents, Heinrich and Valerie and their three children, Franz, Berta and Rudi, write to each other about what matters to them most - a compelling story of love and rivalry, arguments and reconciliations, business, money-making and home. As history overtakes them, their ordinary lives collide with extraordinary world events. In 1939, Hitler's invasion destroys the world in which they have lived and loved.
 
Decades later, Rudi's daughter, Nancy Kohner, goes through the archive of letters and diaries and began to reflect on what it means to inherit such a story - words from a lost world.Captivated, amused and often surprised by what she uncovered, in My Father's Roses she revisited, with extraordinarily moving tenderness, her relationship with her father and, through him, a family she never knew.

(Price & availability last checked: September 2018)

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In booklists: The Holocaust, Jewish Lives,
In categories: History & Biography, Anti-Racism, Jewish Diaspora,

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