read online books Other People's Houses By Lore Segal – Wildlives.co
Many of the books that I have read about survivors of the Holocaust are about those who somehow survived the dire, heinous conditions of the camps This is a different story This is about a young girl whose fate saved her from the camps but yet, as a ten year old girl, experienced the separation from her family and her home in Austria And while this fate is obviously so much better than having perished in the camps or having to live through the horrors and survive them, this is a story of being displaced, about loss of one s identity.Segal calls it a novel but if you read anything about the author s life, you realize that this novel is really her story In the intro by Cynthia Ozick, she talks about the lack emotion with which the story is told Over the child s survival and tenacity hangs a guilty awareness that her life, having been granted, must not be taken for granted It is undoubtedly, this awareness which gives Segal s book it s extraordinary one might say its peculiar tone It is dry, sold, literal, even numb But it was precisely this tone that evoked emotion in me the sadness of the story of a little girl separated from her family and her home and moved around for seven years after that Lore Segal, a ten year old Jewish girl is put on board the Kinder Transport from Vienna being sent to England by her parents in hopes of being saved from the Nazis who just taken over Austria Lore is shuffled from her house to her cousin Erwin s house, to her grandparent s , to the train and a boat, and then over the next seven years to Hooper s, the Grimsley s and other families willing to take in this young refugee Told in a matter of fact way , without much emotion , the telling makes for a rather chilling story as we see the effects on Lore Even though her parents were allowed to come to England, they were only able to see their daughter one day a week since they were working as domestics in other houses The impact of this life on her family is also told.The part of the story before she goes to college depicts that life of displacement , was moving to me than the last part of the book when Lore is reunited with her mother, grandparents, and uncle but yet it was a part of Lore s story.This was originally published in 1964 and I appreciate that Open Road Integrated Media is republishing this important story Thank you to Open Road Integrated Media and NetGalley for the opportunity to read a book I may not have found. Originally Published In And Hailed By Critics Including Cynthia Ozick And Elie Wiesel, Other People S Houses Is Lore Segal S Internationally Acclaimed Semi Autobiographical First NovelNine Months After Hitler Takes Austria, A Ten Year Old Girl Leaves Vienna Aboard A Children S Transport That Is To Take Her And Several Hundred Children To Safety In England For The Next Seven Years She Lives In Other People S Houses, The Homes Of The Wealthy Orthodox Jewish Levines, The Working Class Hoopers, And Two Elderly Sisters In Their Formal Victorian Household An Insightful And Witty Depiction Of The Ways Of Life Of Those Who Gave Her Refuge, Other People S Houses Is A Wonderfully Memorable Novel Of The Immigrant Experience What a whine fest If I were that hateful, selfish and mean, I certainly wouldn t be writing a book and telling the whole world about it.Her poor, pitiful me attitude got on my last nerve and mostly what I felt while reading this was disgust She just might be the most ungrateful and disrespectful woman ever born.If I had ever talked to my Parents and Grandparents in the manner that she does well, let s just say that I would have spent my entire childhood bloody and bruised.And, if I had ever caused my Father bodily harm or callously took away my Grandmother s will to live then I probably would have curled up into a ball and died of shame shortly thereafter.Unless you like books about spoiled, ungrateful little brats, I suggest you don t waste your time on this one. I probably am in the minority in giving this 3 stars It is the story of a girl that could have easily ended up in camps but was saved by staying with families in England It is told in such a matter of fact way that it appears to me almost ungrateful I did not find this story to be sentimental or powerful Good story but I thought there were parts that could have been explored and less of others. She is one of my new favorite novelists. Even though this book was published than 50 years ago, Lore Segal s autobiographical novel is a story about refugee children that still resonates today When the United Kingdom took in over 10,000 children, mostly Jewish, from Germany, Austria and other east European countries, and placed them in the care of foster families, Segal was part of the Kindertransports.Speaking through her narrator, this is the story of a 10 year old girl who, with other children, was put on a train and transported to England to be safe and secure after Hitler annexed Austria in 1938 Seen through the eyes of a child, but conveyed through the almost clincal voice of an adult, this young girl observes the customs, ways of life and class consciousness of the families in whose homes she temporarily lives Although safe from privation and death, as a child she was uprooted from her parents, family, community, country and language Placed in numerous foster homes, Jewish and gentile, Lore Segal portrays first hand knowledge, experience and emotion about what it is like for a young child to learn another language, adjust to various new families, and also be responsible for seeking the extrication of her parents from another country, Austria, under the dictatorship of one of modern history s most demonic rulers The young girl is scared, curious, observant and displays a wry sense of humor She submerges a good deal of emotion so as to show her appreciation for being taken in, and does her best to behave and be a good child When the book was first published in 1964, there were reviews that commented about how cold the protagonist was However, as time passed fresh views of this book elicited a new perspective This coldness is the price that is paid for any childhood that is interrupted, when responsibility for others weighs heavily on small shoulders, and frightened children do not have the fortitude and resilience to see beyond the overwhelming and intimidating present Lore Segal had an inner core of strength that she did not know about, and in the cold bleak English winter of 1938, she wrote a letter, one that she says, was a tearjerker full of symbolisms and found its way to a refugee committee, and got her parents visas to England The letter secured her parents lives, but it also was her tender roots as a writer Reviewed by Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library Wonderfully written, really interesting account of traveling to England on the Kindertransport, beautifully told from the unique perspective of a child The Second World War brought right down to a level on which it impacted on a an individual, and a little bit through her eyes of others around her. This book went on far too long it really should have ended when the war did, or at least when the author left England for the Dominican Republic Instead it continued for like 125 pages , with stories of teaching English, conflicts with the author s mother, encounters with other expatriates, etc etc etc And on top of that, the book ends very abruptly, basically So my grandma died and I got married to this one dude I haven t mentioned before now, and we have a couple of kids The End Lore Segal sounds like an immensely ordinary woman who, Kindertransport aside, lead an immensely ordinary and therefore boring life. I first learned of Lore Segal when I watched the documentary DVD, Into the Arms of Strangers Stories of the Kindertransport This book expands on her family s flightfrom Austria by way of Paris, England, Dominican Republic.There are many gaps in information and jumps in chronology and then there is her mother s ever present influence. Sadly, this book didn t live up to my expectations The writing is all over the place kind of like Segal s childhood a young Jewish girl shipped to England from Austria during WWII she was one of the lucky ones without anything or anyone familiar to her She was shuffled from one family one house to another, never quite knowing how to fit in, surrounded by strangers When her parents were finally able to get to England, they worked as servants in other people s houses, and they only got to visit with Segal on their days off and during holidays It is an honest look at the life of young child who was able to escape to safety, but it is written as a series of disjointed vignettes than as a fluid narrative Ultimately, Segal does make it to America with her mother and her grandmother and eventually lives in a house of her own A heartbreaking narrative.