Posted by: gypsytales | May 19, 2009

A LIFE OF ONE’S OWN by Hilda Bernstein

A LIFE OF ONE’S OWN by Hilda Bernstein

This human interest story, contextualized by political and historical influences in Russia, reveals the hardships and tragedies experienced by Hilda’s father and her sister. 

Hilda was one of three sisters, born in England to non-practicing Jewish immigrants from Russia.  When she was only 10 years old, her father – a committed Bolshevik – returned to Russia, leaving his wife to raise the three girls alone.  Hilda would never see him again. 

A decade later, for entirely different reasons, Hilda’s sister would follow in her father’s footsteps and visit Russia.  Unforeseen circumstances and events beyond her sister’s control meant it would be 12 years before she returned home.

Through her father’s many letters she writes an account of his deep political convictions and his longing to see his family.  Hilda pieces together her sister’s account through the numerous essays she wrote while in “exile”. 

In hindsight everyone has clear vision, but for this family, while the events unfolded, lives were being changed and time together was lost forever. 

Against the backdrop of the First and Second World War the book captures the pain of loss and suffering, years of separation, the anguish of not knowing, trapped in a political regime where one has no control.  Despite the adversities experienced by her father and sister, it is also the story of determination and the survival of the human spirit against all odds.

First copyright dates: 2002

ISBN: 1-919931-08-02


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