Another one of my many charity shop finds! I think it’s really important to educate yourself about the events of the past, no matter how uncomfortable or difficult it might be. Books about the Holocaust are on the rise, becoming more and more popular. Hopefully, this will increase awareness and understanding of the events of the past. This particular book has been slightly different from all the ones I’ve come across before, so keep on reading if you’d like to find out why!
Title: The Choice
Author: Edith Eger
Genre: Autobiography / History – Holocaust
Number of Pages: 384
My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (5 stars)
“We can’t choose to vanish the dark, but we can choose to kindle the light.”
Synopsis: In 1944, sixteen-year-old Edith Eger is sent to Auschwitz. There, she is separated from her parents, goes through the unimaginable, and is made to dance for Joseph Mengele. After the camp’s liberation, she is found among dead bodies, barely alive. Edith goes on to elaborate on her life after this near-death experience and how she learns to live again with remarkable resilience.
Overall Impression: I think this book should be on everyone’s to-read list. Not only does it teach about a difficult part of human history, it also showcases how humans learn to deal even with the most horrendous situations throughout their lives. The book doesn’t only focus on Auschwitz and the horrific events that took place there. It shows how Edith learnt to live a wholesome life and covers over 50 years of her personal experiences after the liberation. I really enjoyed this aspect, it was incredibly interesting to see how she healed, dealt with her past, and created a new life for herself.
Not only does this book recount Edith’s life, she also delves into her professional knowledge as a therapist. A lot of subjects in this book got me thinking about my life and how I view certain aspects of it. Some part of me treated this as a slight self-help book, because, to be honest, it does have a lot of valuable insights into human psychology. Our reactions to fear, trauma and a multitude of other emotions are analysed from a professional’s and survivor’s perspectives. This book is not only interesting and meaningful for its historical qualities, but also for the psychological and therapeutic aspects.
Likes: Beautifully written and talking about certain issues every person encounters in their daily lives. I think I actively expressed all the aspects I enjoyed above. I appreciate how personal Edith gets with her experiences and how much she shares with her readers. It’s a raw and open book, encompassing so many different human experiences and emotions. It is a truly moving read.
Dislikes: Can’t really say that there was anything I actively disliked. The only thing was that I would’ve liked a bit more of a detailed timeline of all Edith’s life events. Just because sometimes it got a bit confusing as to which year the story was in at any given moment. But that’s the only minor negative aspect I can think off.
In Conclusion: Please go find this book in your local library, charity shop or bookshop, and read it. It’s worth every minute. Numerous times throughout the book Edith mentions Viktor Frankl and his book “Man’s Search for Meaning”, which has been on my to-read list for a while. I will get round to it one day!
“We are convinced that the more securely we lock the past away, the safer and happier we will be.“
What other Auschwitz/Holocaust related books have you read? Anything to recommend?
Hope everyone has a lovely, book filled weekend ahead of them!