Kirkus Reviews




Forthcoming in May 2024:


This priceless recapturing of darkened history, this lifetime’s rumination on family, result in a stunningly intelligent and elegantly written work, whose honesty, maturity, perspective and wisdom are so rare in today’s memoirs. I found it utterly engrossing.”


— Phillip Lopate, author of To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction
"A thoughtful, notable addition to the literature of the Holocaust and those survivors who started anew in America…a poignant memoir.”  — Kirkus Reviews
While Evelyn Toynton’s father became a civic-minded American, with a great sense of obligation to his suburban community, her uncle never stopped feeling like an exile in the US; as soon after World War II as he could, he started making trips back to Germany. The women in her family also had widely varying relationships to the societies in which they found refuge. One of them, after browbeating a Nazi police chief into arranging for her husband’s release from Dachau, wound up in England and became a passionate Anglophile; another, a widow deprived of all material comfort and security, retreated into seclusion in her tiny New York apartment, distancing herself from American life and finding solace in her beloved German poets. A fierce Zionist who smuggled guns and money from Europe into Palestine under the noses of the British went on to found a kibbutz and fight for the rights of Arabs as well as Jews. Then there was the author’s German-born mother, who emigrated to the U.S. only to be struck down by tragedy and forced to live separately from her children, but still found ways to nurture them and provide them with a haven from their own troubles. All of them had lost not only their homeland and their sense of identity but also many of the people they loved. Yet almost all found ways to give meaning to their lives, either in their own small circles or in the larger world.