- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 938 KB
- Print Length: 380 pages
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00KOS9YXM
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #861,167 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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With Love, The Argentina Family: Memories of Tango and Kugel; Mate with Knishes Kindle Edition
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Mirta Trupp’s memoir was the right book for me to read. It taught me a lot. First of all, it made me realize that while there are “normal” Jews, there is, obviously and sadly, no normal life for Jews. It starts with Mirta’s ancestors migrating from Prussia to Lithuania to the Ukraine, without finding a place where they could permanently live in peace. It continues with Mirta’s great-grandparents, some time around 1909, fleeing from pogroms, trekking from the Ukraine through Western Europe to Hamburg in order to board a ship that — God-willing — would take them to the shores of Argentina where the Rothschild family, along with other prominent Jews, had arranged for Jews of Eastern Europe to settle in under-populated agricultural areas. Yet again, there was no long-lasting peace. Even though the Jews had done their best to become patriotic Argentinians, they soon met again with anti-Semitism, violence, and even cold-blooded murder.
It was in this situation that Mirta’s father decided to leave Argentina and immigrate to the United States, the land of freedom and unlimited possibilities. He left for Norte America when Mirta was eight months old and had his reluctant wife and baby daughter follow soon after. He worked hard and did well and was happy and content to live in America. However, Mirta’s mother was very family-oriented, and her parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, cousins, second cousins, third cousins, and, and, and, and, and … lived in Argentina. Lucky for her, Mirta’s father got a job with Pan America Airlines, which enabled the Trupp family to fly almost for free. Mirta’s mother made utmost use of this possiblity, and Mirta was dragged back and forth between the U.S. and Argentina. And this is what this book is mainly about — growing up torn between 3 cultures.
Was Mirta American, or was she Argentinian, or was she — first and foremost — Jewish? She was trying to find out. For the Argentina family, she was American, but also Jewish. For the American Jews, she was Argentinian. For the American gentiles, she was Jewish, or maybe, just odd. Go figure. Isn’t coming of age hard enough without triple identity?
Luckily, Mirta had a positive outlook on life and found her way. It wasn't easy. And it should also be mentioned that even here in America, Mirta had some nasty encounters with anti-Semites.
What particularly impressed me about this memoir was the genuine love all these relatives had for one another. I have never experienced any such love amongst any kinship, and certainly not among my relatives. And while this love for extended family, as depicted in Mirta’s book, is the most heartfelt I have ever come across in any society, I found similar in Holocaust memoirs. I have found Jewish people to be very special. I think they are in average more intelligent, more good natured, and more loving than other nationalities and ethnic groups. Call me a fervent pro-Semite. :-)
Why do I rate this memoir only 4 stars? About two-thirds into the book, my head was swirling with more and more relatives and friends and social get togethers. For a while the book read a bit like a YA book. Other than that, I very much enjoyed the book. It is well written, and I also learned a lot about the Jewish and the Argentinian culture. I even learned some Spanish, which I plan to try out on our Mexican household help, who doesn’t speak a word of English.
All in all, I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes memoirs, likes coming-to-age stories, likes immigration stories, is interested in Jewish culture and Jewish family life, plans to travel to Argentina at some time or, sadly, doesn’t see the slightest chance to travel to Argentina at whatever time. And if you don’t fit into any of the aforementioned groups, read this book anyway. It is heart-warming.
May I say, from the bottom of my heart, congratulations on writing this novel. I loved it! It brought so many memories; it showed the true way it was back in those days. My parents were so grateful to this country, especially in those days, when everything was practically perfect. I'm thankful that this book was written, because it has a lot of our Argentinian immigrant folklore. I think that everyone who lived through that time period and attended some of those famous "reuniones" should get a copy and have their children read it too! They should see what our parents went through in order to be here. I will get a few copies for my own "descendientes" who thank me for coming to this country. I thank my own father who had the vision to immigrate. This is a must read!
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