Fifty-Year Silence

Mouillot, Miranda Richmond. A Fifty-Year Silence: Love, War and a Ruined House in France. New York: Crown Publishers, 2015.

Reason read: an Early Review book from LibraryThing.

Here’s what I loved about Mouillot’s memoir straight away: she was unapologetic about the inaccuracies in her book. She admits a lot of her documentation is based on conversations and possible faulty memories. From some reason, that admission alone makes it all the more real to me.

How does a relationship go from just that, a relationship, to a subject for a book? When I think about Mouillot’s grandparents and their fifty year silence I find myself asking, what makes this divorce any different from other relationship that crashed and burned? Could we all write a story about a relationship that fell apart? Well, yes and no. Add World War II, being Jewish and escaping the Holocaust and suddenly it’s not just about a couple who haven’t spoken to each other. It’s a mystery of survival on many different levels. While Mouillot’s account is choppy and sometimes hard to follow I found myself rooting for her. I wanted her to discover the mysteries of love and relationships, especially since her own love life was blossoming at the same time.

We aren’t supposed to quote from the book until it has been published but I have to say I hope this sentence stays, “How do you break a silence that is not your own?” (from the preface). I love, love, love this question. It should be on the cover of the book because it grabs you by the heart and throttles your mind into wanting to know more. Maybe that’s just me. Case in point: I was drawn into the show, “The Closer” after hearing Brenda say, “If I wanted to be called bitch to my face I’d still be married” in a promo. One sentence and I was hooked. Sometimes, that is all it takes.

Book trivia: According to the galley I received, A fifty-Year Silence will have maps.

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