Sometimes when you go searching for something, you find what you really need yourself. Miranda Richmond Mouillot grew up as the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors. Always her life was haunted by the deepset idea that at any minute someone could come in and invade their home. From the time she was a child she was looking for assurance from her mom that people would not steal their home or take them away in the middle of the night. And there was always the notion that someone could tear apart her family, just like it did for her grandparents, Anna and Armand. Growing up, however, Miranda had no idea why her grandparents had a 50 year silence and still to the day of their passing would not speak to one another or about their story. The biography/autobiography A Fifty Year Silence delves deeper into Miranda’s quest to search out what brought her grandparents together and what pushed them apart like magnets of the same pole.
Miranda’s quest begins when she is young and is first sent to boarding school in France to study where her grandpa studied at the urging of her grandma. Miranda soon learns that her grandpa is like a closed clam when it comes to her grandma, even to the point he avoids visiting his family if he knows that she is going to be in the area. Miranda starts talking to her grandma regarding her grandpa and is seemingly given riddles as to what brought them together. As she gets older, Miranda starts trying to put bits and pieces into a book on their lives and tries to piece together the true story. Along the way, she visits a house her grandma owns in France that she absolutely falls in love with and finds her self falling in love with a Frenchman, believing part of the purpose of the quest was to bring them together. Miranda never does find all the answers she longs for before her grandparents’ passing, but she had pieced together a few things and the rest is left for the imagination to decipher.
This is an interesting and easy non-fiction read packed with quite a bit of Holocaust history that you might not find in the history books. There is a lot of deciphering in your own mind for what happened between Anna and Armand, but you won’t be bored. It’s almost like a mystery novel where you choose what happened. Probably not a good read for someone who wants definite answers. Not recommended for young readers as there is a bit of foul language in certain areas.
WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group provided this book to me for free in exchange for this honest review as part of their Blogging for Books program.