Barbara Ridley's Reviews > Jumping Over Shadows: A Memoir
Jumping Over Shadows: A Memoir
A fascinating, well-written memoir about the author's relationship with a Jewish man and her conversion to Judaism, while she explores the ramifications of her own family's history. The narrative moves back and forth between her own romance, beginning when she met her husband-to-be in Germany in the 1980's, and the historical tale of her great-aunt who married a Jew in Czechoslovakia in the 1930's. For many years, Gendler is forced to hide her relationship from her finance's family of Holocaust survivors because they will not approve of her being non-Jewish, and half German. Meanwhile, she tries to learn more about how her own family survived under the Nazis. Her account of her conversion and gradual assumption of her new Jewish identity is compelling. I found the historical chapters a bit confusing at times, because it was difficult to remember who was who in the family tree; those characters were not distinct enough for me to keep them clear in my mind, without referring back to earlier sections. But overall, a very interesting read.
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