Sarah Wildman’s story about searching for her grandfather’s unknown history reminds me of the “what if” story lines. What if X had happened and not Z? I was also drawn to the book because of a similar story in my significant other’s family. What if that person had been saved from the war? How would our family history been different? How would history have been changed? One never knows.
Ms. Wildman is lucky, she had something tangible to begin with. All I have today are stories, rumor, and no paper trail.
The book is as much heartbreaking as it is sweeping in its’ coverage of a family, a war, the war’s aftermath, and history. What if, what if, what if? It is a reminder also that people hide their pasts for reasons we can guess or completely not know or understand. Then the past comes down to later generations and begins chain reactions that may or may not be understood.
This book is a must read. I stayed up late one night to read it and the lack of sleep was well worth it. Shakespeare would envy this were he alive today.