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Sidonia's Thread: The Secrets of a Mother and Daughter Sewing a New Life in America

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3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  312 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
Did you and your parent ever keep a secret that lasted a lifetime? When Hanna Perlstein and her mother, Sidonia, come to Springfield, Massachusetts from a displaced persons camp after World War II, they know no one in America. With no other family, except each other, they build a world that revolves around Sidonia's extraordinary talent with a needle and thread to create ...more
Paperback, 278 pages
Published December 7th 2011 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Carol
Aug 07, 2012 Carol rated it really liked it
There are so many lives that have forever been affected by World War II. For many, their stories ended in the German concentration camps. The survivors have stories to tell and we don’t always want to hear them. Isn’t one story the same as another? I think not.

As I read Sidona’s Thread: The Secrets of a Mother and Daughter Sewing a New Life in America I was reminded of the uniqueness of each individual who came through that time. Hanna Perlstein Marcus was born at the Bergen Belson displaced pe
...more
Donna
Jun 23, 2012 Donna rated it it was amazing
I found Sidonia's Thread to be one of the most inspiring books I've ever had the pleasure of reading. I could identify with the author, as my own grandparents emmigrated from Germany in the 1920's and had to build a life, learn the language, and took great pride in becoming American citizens. The atrocities Sidonia faced before coming to America eventually received world wide recognition. The author does an excellent job in describing in detail how her mother came to be the person she was. I ...more
Rachel Horon
Mar 26, 2014 Rachel Horon rated it it was amazing
I was blown away about this memoir of a mother who survived the Holocaust and her daughter who learned more, piece by piece, about the choices her mother had to make to ensure their life in America. For those who are interested in stories about Holocaust survivors as well as the next generation who were raised by them, this is a great read. Also, the writer organized it according to the chapters of her mother's favorite sewing book. I have already recommended it to my mother.
Betty Tindle
Feb 04, 2015 Betty Tindle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good

I really enjoyed reading this account of a holocaust victims life after the holocaust. As always, these accounts are incredibly sad, how can they not be? Sidonia was an incredible woman. I'd say even a bit ahead of the times. Worth reading.
Stephen
May 13, 2012 Stephen rated it it was amazing
I had heard some of these stories but this book blew me away.
Dinah
Mar 10, 2014 Dinah rated it really liked it
This is the story of Sidonia as written by her daughter, Hannah. Hannah did not take a traditional approach in telling her mother's story. Sidonia had one skill that carried through life. She was an exemplenary seamstress. In telling her story, Hannah used a sewing technique to organize each chapter. For example, when discussing fitting and fitting clothes, she also discussed how her mother fit into her new family especially after divorce.
Sidonia was the only member of her family to survive the
...more
Wilhelmina
Feb 20, 2014 Wilhelmina rated it it was amazing
This is such a poignant memoir, one I will be reading again! I have read a number of books by survivors of the holocaust, and this book is once again unique, even though "some" of the story is familiar.....how the family came to be in a concentration camp, how the whole family was lost except for the mother, and how she carried many of her secrets to her grave, and how her experiences as a prisoner of the concentration camp, as a holocaust survivor shaped not only her life, but the lives of her ...more
Beth Sammons
Apr 11, 2014 Beth Sammons rated it it was amazing
great book. The mom reminded me of my grandma - a woman that endures unbelievable hardship but just keeps on. Lives a thrifty life but never wanting for anything except to understand. I could relate to the daughters anger - you never know what your grandparents or parents have endured and how they try to insulate you from the pain and hardness of the world - in the meantime - if they could have told you more a little at a time when you should have been ready for it so that you have an ...more
Chanda
Apr 25, 2013 Chanda rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. I loved how the author relates the theme of sewing to the stories in the book. It's a heartfelt memoir about a Mother-Daughter relationship strained by the events that took place early in her Mother's life during the holocaust. Most of the events take place in Springfield, MA and the east coast. It was really interesting how her mother kept so many secrets from her daughter.... mostly I believe it served as a protective shell for her to keep hidden away inside. Her ...more
Pam
May 10, 2013 Pam rated it it was amazing
Beautiful.

I have never read anything quite
Like Sedonia's Thread. It is a remarkable work of sheer strength, tenacity, and the ability of the human spirit to overcome unimaginable odds.

The author, being the subject's daughter, poured her heart and soul into this memoir. Her love and devotion, not to mention her respect to lineage, is evident in every word of this story. Her passion and love for her genealogy came through loud and clear, in an admirable and profound way.

Thank you, Hanna Perlstei
...more
Jan Lewis
Aug 01, 2015 Jan Lewis rated it really liked it
A great book about a survivor of the Holocaust and her daughter born out of wedlock. Sidonia's amazing survival is a story in and of itself. She was an incredibly strong woman and one to be admired. I cannot imagine the terror Sidonia suffered during her years in the concentration camps, but she came through it and lived a strong, independent life for many years after. Her gift of sewing kept she and her daughter fed, housed and clothed through tumultuous times. The only sad story here was her ...more
John
Feb 18, 2014 John rated it really liked it
One of a plethora of books by the children of Holocaust survivors now being published in the Kindle format and offered as specials. But this one is different. It is not so much a story of the Holocaust as the story of the life of Sidonia and her daughter (the author) born in a DP camp following liberation, and after they immigrate to the US. It is an interesting story of survival and and the complex relationship between the daughter and mother. A story that Oprah or Dr. Phil would probably ruin, ...more
Libraryscat
Feb 20, 2014 Libraryscat rated it really liked it
Like most Holocaust books, this was a sad book. However, little was written about actual experiences during the war; rather it is the period after the war, moving to America, adapting to a new life which was difficult for a single woman with a child. This book was written by the daughter, who wanted to know who and where her father was - sure that he did not want her, why he did not marry her mother. Her mother was closed off from her emotionally and only gave her glimpses of life in the camps. ...more
Carly
Nov 19, 2013 Carly rated it really liked it
This was one of the most interesting books about the Holocaust I have ever read. Told from the perspective of the daughter of a survivor who raised her alone in America, this account really showed how it affected the life of such a young woman, the only one left in her family. It was a beautiful account of an unusual mother-daughter relationship and how the daughter (the author) came to understand her mother and her mother's way of loving her.
Margaret
Jul 27, 2014 Margaret rated it really liked it
from a mothers point of view this book made you realised what you would do for you're child heartbreaking but totally poignant sometimes felt reading something that happened in another lifetime and could not think this could happened the strength and courage mother and daughter possess amazing good true and strong read
Marian Sofferin
Apr 19, 2013 Marian Sofferin rated it it was amazing
This book is so compelling that I could not put it down until I finished it. Written by her daughter Sidonia's Thread tells her mothers story from the early years, then through the Holocaust until her recent passing. The details and stories give insight to the life of her mom, a Holocaust survivor, and her growing up in the US. I recommend this for everyone.
Jennifer
Jan 25, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
This is a really well written book about a mother & daughter's struggles to rebuild their lives in a new country after the war. Stories of the mother's survival as told through her daughter's recollections are woven throughout to provide us with a picture of resiliancy & determination that shows us the incredible strength her mother had to survive.
Regmg1
Jan 21, 2014 Regmg1 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: mostly women
Recommended to Regmg1 by: Lucille Frank
very good. It shows how a girl and her mother come to America and live from being very poor and how Hannah and her mother progress and each chapter starts with a quote from COATS and CLARKS SEWING BOOK. Sidonia is a very talented seamstress and that is what keeps them going.
Becki Basley
Dec 13, 2015 Becki Basley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the originality of this book! To write about her mother and the authors relationship through the vehicle of a book of her mothers craft is very unique and so well thought out. The story is excellently written and love conveyed is heartwarming.
Linda Verdoorn
Feb 22, 2014 Linda Verdoorn rated it really liked it
Another good book from the holocaust. This was told by her daughter how she came to America and made a life for them.
Cathy
Jul 20, 2015 Cathy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club-reads
This book is very well written. I feel like I know these people intimately and mourn for their suffering and all that they endured. But I also rejoice in Sidonia's triumph over it all.
Yeny
May 02, 2013 Yeny rated it really liked it
A good book about a holocaust survivor raising a child as a single mom, and the mystery surrounding the father of the child. Good read, very well written, and inspirational in more than one way.
Donna
Mar 12, 2014 Donna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read

felt like I was part of the family. kept me reading. sometimes hard to follow. Would recommend. good information on the holocaust. if there is good information.
Lynn Joshua
Oct 19, 2016 Lynn Joshua rated it it was ok
The author had a unique method of telling her story, connecting it with the sewing theme that was central to her mother's life.
Jena Henry
Sep 19, 2015 Jena Henry rated it it was amazing
Interesting and heartfelt look at life in America for a young immigrant woman finding her way after the hardships of WW II. Also a good look at a dynamic mother daughter relationship.
Patricia Laws
Dec 11, 2014 Patricia Laws rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a lovely read


A miracle to me how anyone could survive sure horror. What a great lady. What a lucky daughter to have had her for a mother.
Mary Simonsen
Nov 29, 2015 Mary Simonsen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a great book

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was interesting to read about Sidonia's story told from her daughter's point of view. Sidonia was truly an amazing woman.
Polly
Jun 11, 2013 Polly rated it liked it
Though not the most compelling Holocaust survival story, the author's writing style and vocabulary made this a very good book.
Laurel
Dec 09, 2015 Laurel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great story and told in an interesting way. The way the ending played out wasn't not as well written as I had hoped, but well worth the read anyways.
Nahnita
Dec 07, 2014 Nahnita rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
This book was so good! I couldn't put it down!!
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“For a long time, I was trapped in this struggle with my emotions about the single person in the world who was my family.” 2 likes
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