Now available in paperback: “a moving account of one woman’s brave journey as she confronts her mother’s past in the cold reality of the present. Einhorn has written a unique holocaust story—part testimony and part detective story” (Martin Lemelman, author of Mendel’s Daughter).
First aired as a segment of This American Life entitled “Settling the Score,” The Pages in Between is the moving story of Einhorn’s personal journey of reconciliation and discovery in modern-day Poland. Frustrated by her mother’s refusal to talk about her tragic and unusual childhood, Einhorn traveled to Poland to find the family that safeguarded her from the Nazis as an infant. What she uncovered was the legacy left behind by a sixtyyear- old promise made by her grandfather: to give the family that harbored her mother during the war everything he had—most importantly the deed to his own family’s house. In her attempt to fulfill that debt that saved her mother’s life, Einhorn comes face to face with the realities of present day Poland, where a dispute of this kind requires endless digging through painful and often hidden history. Along the way, she suffers her own personal losses and begins to question how much of the future should be jeopardized in order to right the wrongs of the past. Part family history, part personal and present coming of age memoir, The Pages in Between powerfully tells of a young woman’s quest for the “truth” about her mother’s life, and of learning the lesson that this truth might be impossible to find.
For Discussion: 1. Erin's discoveries led her to question her family stories. Do you feel that family stories are likely to be historically inaccurate? If so, why do you think that is? 2. Did your impression of Wieslaw Skowronski's change? Was your opinion about his family (Marta and Helen) different as the book progressed? 3. Why do you think Erin was so passionate about finding out the truth of what happened to her mom? Do you believe she would have acted with the same drive if her mom hadn't been diagnosed with cancer? 4. Why do you think Erin didn't tell Wieslaw about her mother's illness and death? What do you think would have occurred differently if she had told him the truth? 5. Erin points out that young Polish people are fascinated with Jewish culture. Do you think that exists in American culture for a mainstream group to be curious about an outside group of some kind? 6. What do you think was the most interesting discovery Erin made? 7. When Helen asks about Jews eating blood-filled cake, Krys is more offended than Erin is. Why do you think Krys took more offense? 8. The experience Erin had in Sweden with Fannie couldn't have been more different than her experience with Wieslaw. Why do you think they differed so much? 9. How did you feel about Wieslaw's reaction to Erin's mother's death? Was it rude? 10. Erin's last experience with Wieslaw changed her opinion about wanting to live in Poland. Why do you think that moment affected her so much? 11. Frequently it turns out that commonly accepted family history turns out to be family myth. Why do you think this is? Has this happened to you? 12. How would you have reacted if you were in Erin's situation? Would you have continued to spend money, time, and energy on the children of the woman who saved your mother's life? Why or why not? 13. How long does a family debt last? What sacrifices are necessary?
"A moving account of one woman's brave journey as she confronts her mother's past in the cold reality of the present. Erin Einhorn has written a unique Holocaust story -- part testimony and part detective story." -- Martin Lemelman, author of Mendel's Daughter: A Memoir
"Erin Einhorn's work brings her back to unlock the secrets of the Polish house where her mother once lived...Teeming with conflict and history, it allures and frustrates those who try to bring it -- and Polish Jewish history -- into the 21st century. The Pages In Between is a special story of Einhorn's quest to discover the past and find peace." -- Ann Kirschner, author of Sala's Gift : My Mother's Holocaust Story and university dean of Macaulay Honors College at the City University of New York