Title: The Choice
Author: Edith Eger
Length: 360 pages
Publisher: Rider Books
I picked this book up in my local supermarket for £3.99 and I’m so glad I did.
It’s 1944 and sixteen-year-old ballerina Edith Eger is sent to Auschwitz. Separated from her parents on arrival, she endures unimaginable experiences, including being made to dance for the infamous Josef Mengele. When the camp is finally liberated, she is pulled from a pile bodies, barely alive. The horrors of the Holocaust didn’t break Edith. In fact, they helped her learn to live again with a life-affirming strength and a truly remarkable resilience. The Choice is her unforgettable story. It shows that hope can flower in the most unlikely places.
‘Our painful experiences aren’t a liability-they’re a gift. They give us perspective and meaning, an opportunity to find our unique purpose and out strength.’
Now, I have to be honest when I first bought this book, I thought it was a fictional story, like ‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz’. But as I began reading it turned out to be a memoir and, I believe, a self help book but maybe that’s just for me.
The first part of the book, is about Edith’s beginnings then her time in Auschwitz. She begins describing what it felt like to be Jewish at the time anti-semitism was on the rise. You can feel the fear begin to seep into her. She then goes onto describe the journey to Auschwitz and her time there. Let me tell you it’s described so vividly and with such raw emotion it’s harrowing. It’s exactly what the book needs to be, harrowing for a harrowing time. The way she describes being pulled out of a pile of dead bodies to be saved is something that will stay with me forever.
‘Time doesn’t heal. It’s what you do with the time. Healing is possible when we choose to take responsibility, when we choose to take risks, and finally, when we choose to release the wound, to let go of the past or the grief.’
Edith then goes onto to talk about her life after being liberated, moving to America and how being a survivor affects her life. She goes onto become a very successful physiatrist. Who helps a lot of people. Whilst battling to overcome the tragedy she, and many others endured. She also tells stories of her patients, which are fascinating in their own right, and how she tried help them and how it relates to the issues she was still dealing with.
When Edith begins talking about her patients, that’s when I believe this book turns into a self help book. If you let it, I believe this book can have a real affect on your life. I know it has for me. It’s really made me look at things differently. It’s taught me lessons.
Edith is a brilliant writer. Absolutely brilliant. Her memories are described in such a brutal, honest, real way. She also looks back on these memories, and analyses them and it is absolutely fascinating. To hear it from a survivors point of view and a psychiatrics.
I can not recommend this book enough. It’s in a league of its own. This was a hard book for me to review, as I don’t feel I could do it justice.
Until the next review