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A Bookaholic, Pro-life, Pro-Family, Pro-Oxford Comma, Catholic (with Asperger's) who reads and writes as her obsession. I've been reading over 400 books a year lately. These are my ramblings on some of the books I read. To read about all the books I read and comment on, visit me at LibraryThing or Goodreads.

I've been blogging since 2007 and at this point (July 2015) am trying my hand at turning the theme of this blog towards mystery, thriller, and crime, fiction and nonfiction. I have some special interest topics and categories within this broad genre which include (but are not limited to) serial killers, scandi-crime, Victorian history and historicals, history of the criminally insane and asylums, psychopathology, death, funerary practices and burial, corpses, true crime and anything dealing with the real life macabre, or that portrayed in fiction.

I also read a short story a day from various collections, sometimes anthologies othertimes collections of a single author's work. These reviews are also posted here and while they are of mixed genre the mystery, thriller, horror, gothic and macabre often appear within their pages as well.


I also blog about
graphic novels and manga on a separate BLOG.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

172. Regina's Closet


Regina's Closet: finding my grandmother's secret journal by Diana M. Raab

Pages: 166
Finished: Nov. 1, 2008
First Published: Sept. 30, 2008
Genre: memoir
Rating: 4.5/5
Reason for Reading: Received a Review Copy from the author.

First sentence:

I was ten years old the morning I found my grandmother dead.


Comments: This is the author's fascinating memoir of her beloved grandmother who killed herself in 1964. Her own mother comes to visit her and each time she brings some nostalgic memento from the past to pass on to her daughter. One year, she brings a portfolio of typewritten pages which turn out to be the grandmother's retrospective memoir written some years before the author's birth. Regina Klein, Jewish, was born in 1903 in Poland and lived through the first world war. Subsequently her family moved to Vienna, then Paris and lived there until the very early days of WWII. They were then fortunate enough to decide to emigrate to the United States before France could be invaded by the Germans.

Actual entries from the journal are used in the book with the author's comments interspersed throughout adding more detail and information for the reader. Thus aiding in a deeper understanding of this woman. After the journal ends Ms. Raab continues the story of her own birth and the life of Regina, both through the eyes of her childhood self and with the deeper insight of her adult self.

This is a short book, which is a very fast read that includes both photographs and copies of documents as well as a map of the pre-WWI area. This book isn't about anyone famous or heroic but about a normal, yet very determined, woman and her family and the events of history that lead to that woman taking her own life at the age of sixty-seven for no apparent reason.

This is a truly wonderfully well-written book. The author inserts just enough of herself into the book that it does not overshadow the main story of the grandmother. A beautiful book full of life, death, chaos and how both war and suicide effect families many years after the events themselves. Recommended.

3 comments:

  1. This sounds like it could be good! I am going to add it to the list!

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  2. Wonderful review Nicola! It sounds really good, so on to my TBR it goes.

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  3. Great first sentence! I'd like to read this one, thanks for the review!

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