Happy Labor Day!! I hope you’re enjoying the long weekend, and can catch a last few days of vacation before life gets serious again, and the summer is officially over!!! I’m happy to be spending it with three of my daughters.
To get the Fall off to a good start, I have a new book coming out tomorrow, “In His Father’s Footsteps”, about three generations of a family. The book begins with the liberation of one of the concentration camps in World War II, the first camp liberated by the Americans, and among the survivors are a young man and young woman who met while in the camp, Jakob and Emmanuelle. Both managed to survive, and had lost their entire families. In the days after the camp is liberated, they try to figure out where to go next, having lost everything during the war (he is Austrian, she is French. He was from a wealthy family in Vienna, who lost everything, she is the daughter of a seamstress in Paris), their friendship blossoms into love, as they help each other get their bearings and regain their health after their shocking experiences. With the help of an American refugee organization, they marry and immigrate to New York, where they are sponsored by a man who owns a garment factory, where they are given jobs, and a tiny apartment on the Lower East side. They arrive in New York with nothing, and work hard. They are ultimately exploited by their sponsor, struggle to survive, get better jobs, and are determined to make a good life for themselves in America, and they have a son, born in New York. With some good breaks, and the fruit of their labor, they meet a kind man who gives Jakob a good job as a runner in the wholesale diamond market. With time, hard work, integrity, and diligence, Jakob carves out a solid career, eventually owns a business, and provides a good life for his wife and son Max. They are cautious, sensible, persevering people, deeply affected by their wartime experiences and all that they lost, and serious about the solid, successful life they have built since. Max grows up in more fortunate circumstances, thanks to his father’s hard work, and he in turn is affected by his parents’ view of life, and he wants a very different, all American life, and to take advantage of the opportunities and education he has been fortunate to have. A Harvard graduate, he builds a successful business of his own, and leads a fast track life, very different from his parents’ lives, who are cautious and always concerned that another war could sweep everything away again. A visit to the camp his parents survived, and where they met, gives him new respect for his parents, and better understanding of what they’ve been through and how far they have come. Max’s own life choices in turn affect his own children, who want to make choices very different from his, and have yet another perspective than their father’s and their grandparents’ view of life. It’s about family ties, about how each generation differs from the last, but with a common theme of hard work, integrity, and the importance of family, as they strive to leave their own mark on the world, each in a different way than the generation that came before them. It’s about how we evolve, and what we learn from our parents and grandparents, and how we come to understand them as we mature, no matter how different we are. I hope you enjoy the book, and each generation in it as the story unfolds. I’m excited about the book and hope you will be too. I always love the poignancy and compassion of family sagas, as we watch a family build and grow, as each generation tries to improve on what was achieved by those who came before them.
I hope you have a wonderful Labor Day, and that you have some wonderful memories of the summer to carry you forward into the fall. Have a great week!!!