Most stories surrounding adoption usually involve a child searching for their parent or just simply the truth to a fatigued question: Why was I put up for adoption? It’s a question that haunts from childhood to adulthood. Where it doesn’t haunt, it’s resides in the back of the mind swaying like a branch in the wind. Sway left for life distractions but if it sways to the right they can find themselves in and out of consciousness with questions and wonders.
Jennifer Teege thought the answer to that would be a lot less complicated. She was placed in a Catholic orphanage at 4 weeks old and later adopted by her foster parents at age 7. Teege researched her family with less emotion than I expected and I think it’s because of the way she discovered her connection to the Holocaust. The shock and her inability to cope emotionally led her on a fact finding mission through books, movies, and a Schindler’s List tour through Krakow, one of the oldest cities in Poland.
In Germany, the Holocaust is family history; everywhere else it’s a historical event. It’s clear she was on a mission to obtain facts and resolve her curiosity. Emotion doesn’t drive this story; Teege’s passion and curiosity to understand the thoughts and times of her family members guides us through a stroll of historical discovery. Throughout the book, Teege references her grandfather, Amon Goeth, as portrayed in the movie Shindler’s List. He was a known Nazi criminal, commander of the Plazsow concentration camp.
Teege was a dark-skinned girl that spoke Hebrew, born from a Nigerian father. It did not take her long to realize that her grandfather would have killed her as he killed so many other children. Teege takes a tour to see her grandfather’s old house, Schindler’s List tour (which included the Plaszow concentration camp memorial), Krakow walled Jewish ghetto, and, of course, she searches for her biological parents.
As this story unfolds, you will fall for Teege as she uncovers each detail. There are many themes of discussion in this book that would make this a worthy book club selection.
Reviewed by Traci Green
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