Midbar Kodesh Temple's monthly book club, facilitated by Ileen Spoor, will explore "A Fifty-Year Silence" at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, December 10. The book is the deeply involving account of Miranda Richmond Mouillot's journey to find out what happened between her physician grandmother, and her grandfather, an interpreter at the Nuremberg Trials. In 1948, after surviving World War II by escaping Nazi-occupied France for refugee camps in Switzerland, Miranda's grandparents, Anna and Armand, bought an old stone house in a remote, picturesque village in the South of France. Five years later, Anna packed her bags and walked out on Armand, taking the typewriter and their children. Aside from one brief encounter, the two never saw or spoke to each other again, never remarried, and never revealed what had divided them forever.
To discover the roots of their embittered and entrenched silence, the author abandons her plans for the future and moves to their stone house, now a crumbling ruin. She immerses herself in letters, archival materials, and secondary sources, teasing out stories out of her reticent, and declining, grandparents. As she reconstructs how Anna and Armand braved overwhelming odds and how the knowledge her grandfather acquired at Nuremberg destroyed their relationship, Miranda wrestles with the legacy of trauma, the burden of history, and the complexities of memory.
"A Fifty-Year Silence" is a heartbreaking, uplifting love story spanning two continents and three generations filled with warmth, humor and rich details, bringing her grandparents' daily struggles to life.