What I've Been Reading

by - January 12, 2015

This weekend I read the book A Fifty-Year Silence: Love and War and a Ruined Home in France by Miranda Richmond Mouillot. I was pulled into the story even before I opened the pages. 

The book's synopsis piqued my interest:
"A young woman moves across an ocean to uncover the truth about her grandparents' mysterious estrangement and pieces together the extraordinary story of their wartime experiences."
The grandparents, Anna and Armond, built a life together in the midst of war. Together they were able to escape Nazi occupied France. When the war was over, they returned to the South of France, bought a house and had two children. Five years later,  and without explanation, Anna left Armond. She took the children (and the typewriter). The two never spoke or saw each other again.

Even so, their ties to the heart were never fully severed. Armond never forgave Anna for leaving and Anna never stopped caring for Armond's well being.

To untangle their story, Mouillot tries to decipher each grandparent's non-answers to her questions. She tires to piece together the remnants of their memory along with the things that are not said. 

Ultimately, Mouillot tells an intimate story that is as much own as it is grandparents'.  Her story is as much memoir as biography. Mouillot writes with open curiosity and touching tenderness. It is a strong story that is well told.

I could not put the book down. Partly because I could see my own grandparents when I read about Anna and Armond. The events are told so well that I felt truly connected to all three of them (Anna, Armond and Miranda). I love how Anna is able to see the little miracles that helped lead her and Armond to safety.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

I'm linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy.

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  1. Wow, that book sounds amazing! I have to read it, because I really want to know why Anna left! I love stories like these, that span an entire lifetime of the protagonists and show how their decisions affect later generations. Helps us feel better about our own families!
    Thanks so much for linking up!
    xo Miriam

    1. I'm so glad you stopped by! I wanted to read it to find out why Anna left too. It really is a good book. :)


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