Jun 6, 2012

Broken Birds by Jeannette Katzir, a memoir

Opening sentences can give readers an idea of a book's style, writing, and a sense of the story. Here are the beginning sentences for the memoir, Broken Birds: the Story of My Momila by Jeannette Katzir.

Title: Broken Birds: the Story of My Momila
Author: Jeannette Katzir
Published April 2, 2009 by Jeannette Katzir
I hurried down the hallway but stopped when I saw her. "Mom, why did you do this?" I cried. I stood there for a moment and studied her face. She looked beautiful. A white silky scarf was artfully wrapped around her head like a headscarf and she was wearing her favorite red lipstick. She was smiling at me and there was a twinkle in her eyes. "This could have all been avoided," I told her. Waiting for a response would have been pointless, because photographs never answer back.
Book description: "World War II has long since ended, and yet Jaclyn and her four brothers and sisters grow up learning to survive it. Having lived through the Holocaust on the principles of constant distrust, their mother, Channa, dutifully teaches her children to cling to one another while casting a suspicious eye to the outside world. When Channa dies, the unexpected contents of her will force her adult children to face years of suppressed indignation. For Jacyln and her siblings, the greatest war will not be against strangers, but against one another. 

Broken Birds: The Story of My Momila is Jeannette Katzir's achingly honest memoir of the enduring effects of war. From her parents' harrowing experiences during the Holocaust to her own personal battles, Katzir exposes the maladies of heart and mind that those broken by war, inevitably and unintentionally pass down to the generations that follow."

Comments: I always admire the honesty of those who write memoirs and personal family history, but I find that this book has a lesson to teach.

About the author: Jeannette Katzir was born in New York of Holocaust survivors. Broken Birds: the Story of My Momila was published in 2010, marking the beginning of Katzir's career as an author. She lives in Southern California with her husband.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author.


  1. Harvee, great choice for this meme! I read and reviewed this excellent book a while ago. I look forward to hearing your thoughts about it.

  2. I gave my copy away because I didn't think this would be one that I would ever get to.

  3. That last sentence made my eyes bigger!


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