What They Saved: Pieces of a Jewish Past

Winner of the 2012 Jewish Journal Book Prize After her father s death, Nancy K Miller discovered a minuscule family archive a handful of photographs, an unexplained land deed, a postcard from Argentina, unidentified locks of hair These items had been passed down again and again, but what did they mean Miller follows their traces from one distant relative to another, acWinner of the 2012 Jewish Journal Book Prize After her father s death, Nancy K Miller discovered a minuscule family archive a handful of photographs, an unexplained land deed, a postcard from Argentina, unidentified locks of hair These items had been passed down again and again, but what did they mean Miller follows their traces from one distant relative to another, across the country, and across an ocean Her story, unlike the many family memoirs focused on the Holocaust, takes us back earlier in history to the world of pogroms and mass emigrations at the turn of the twentieth century Searching for roots as a middle aged orphan and an assimilated Jewish New Yorker, Miller finds herself asking unexpected questions Why do I know so little about my family How can I understand myself when I don t know my past The answers lead her to a carpenter in the Ukraine, a stationery peddler on the Lower East Side, and a gangster hanger on in the Bronx As a third generation descendant of Eastern European Jews, Miller learns that the hidden lives of her ancestors reveal as much about the present as they do about the past In the end, an odyssey to uncover the origins of her lost family becomes a memoir of renewal.
What They Saved Pieces of a Jewish Past Winner of the Jewish Journal Book Prize After her father s death Nancy K Miller discovered a minuscule family archive a handful of photographs an unexplained land deed a postcard from Argentin

  • Title: What They Saved: Pieces of a Jewish Past
  • Author: Nancy K. Miller
  • ISBN: 9780803230019
  • Page: 500
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “What They Saved: Pieces of a Jewish Past”

    1. After her father died, Nancy K. Miller discovered objects of her family in a drawer. Most of the photographs were of people that she never knew about. She is determined to track down anything that she can find about them.This book could have been really interesting but halfway through, I decided that I just didn't care enough to read anymore.

    2. I really wanted to love this book, but it was just okay for me. The author starts searching through the things left behind after her father dies and begins piecing together her family history back to Russia. The main problem with the book was that there just wasn't enough stuff to warrant such a long book. There were a lot of holes that couldn't be fixed and though she did come across some interesting things regarding an uncle, there wasn't anything earth shattering that she found. I think, give [...]

    3. A wonderful premise -- piecing together letters, diaries and shards of the mosaic left behind by her Eastern European Jewish parents and grandparents. But it gets tiresome, too bogged down into the details of her discoveries. Perhaps it is better as a reference or a guide to those of us that are trying to do the same thing with our family history. But there seemed to be no emotional stake in the search, or not one gripping enough to hold a reader's attention for the duration.

    4. A bit overwrought at times (the author describes herself as an orphan although she's well in to adulthood when her father dies) but an interesting journey. Not as highly recommended as 'Jacob's Cane'.

    5. I found this book interesting because I am doing ancestry research. Nancy Miller is also researching her past based on objects she inherited. I read this book in 2 days- a fast read. It was somewhat difficult to follow her writing - I'm glad she placed the family tree in the beginning.

    6. I got lost in the branches of the family tree and the narrative. Still, I enjoyed the intraspection and the genealogical journey.

    7. not a very inspiring or even interesting story. Was a great premise but the author never brought it to life.

    8. Hm, a shame this is getting pretty crummy reviews. Nancy K. Miller's work played a significant role in my Master's thesis.

    9. This is somewhat interesting reading as a genealogist, but not a great book. It does get bogged down in a plethora of random minutiae. It did give me a few ideas, though

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