A Fifty-Year Silence: Love, War, and a Ruined House in France by Miranda Richmond Mouillot

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Read A Fifty-Year Silence: Love, War, and a Ruined House in France Online Free - A young woman moves across an ocean to uncover the truth about her grandparents' mysterious estrangement and pieces together the extraordinary story of their wartime experiences
In 1948, after surviving World War II by escaping Nazi-occupied France for refugee camps in Switzerland, the author'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.

A Fifty-Year Silence is the deeply involving account of Miranda Richmond Mouillot's journey to find out what happened between her grandmother, a physician, and her grandfather, an interpreter at the Nuremberg Trials, who refused to utter his wife's name aloud after she left him.  To discover the roots of their embittered and entrenched silence, Miranda abandons her plans for the future and moves to their stone house, now a crumbling ruin; immerses herself in letters, archival materials, and secondary sources; and teases 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.  She also finds herself learning how not only to survive but to thrive – making a home in the village and falling in love.

With warmth, humor, and rich, evocative details that bring her grandparents' outsize characters and their daily struggles vividly to life, A Fifty-Year Silence is a heartbreaking, uplifting love story spanning two continents and three generations.

Title : A Fifty-Year Silence: Love, War, and a Ruined House in France
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0804140642
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 288 pages


Lindsay rated it ★★★★☆

December 29, 2017

4 stars! This book revolves around the author, Miranda Richmond Mouillot’s, search to discover the details of her estranged grandparents past. Through her journey, she discovers many hidden secrets pertaining to her grandparents marriage and masked details surrounding how they escaped Nazi-occupi...

Diane S ☔ rated it ★★★☆☆

March 31, 2016

3.5 A search by a grand-daughter for the truth of the relationship between her grandparents who have not talked about or to each other for fifty years. War time experiences have left scars for many so it is not surprising that this story is filled with anguish, confusion and sadness but it is als...

Chrissie rated it ★★★☆☆

January 31, 2015

When I began the book I loved it, but then it becomes confusing because it goes in all different directions. What is the real purpose of the book? Are we being given a holocaust story or are we being given a philosophical message on how one should live life? Or is it about the difficult job inter...

Jim rated it ★★★☆☆

October 27, 2015

This book chronicles a woman's attempt to discover the reason behind her grandparents' mysterious and vindictive estrangement shortly after WWII. The author set the hook early: the first 5 chapters were engrossing. Sadly, I rapidly lost interest after that. It's not that the book is poorly writte...

Marla rated it ★★★★★

September 28, 2014

There is so much about this book that falls into my no, don't read it list, it is a serious memoir, it circles around and around the horrors of the Holocaust, one of the main characters is a really difficult, if not down right nasty, and yet I loved it. I even grew to love the mean guy. This book...

Heidi rated it ★★★☆☆

December 03, 2014

Three and a half stars: A book that is more about the author's personal journey than her grandparents. Miranda realizes that time is running for her aging grandparents. Two amazing Holocaust survivors who endured unspeakable horror and sadness. After the war, her grandfather served as an interpre...

Susan rated it ★★★★★

January 14, 2015

This is a very moving memoir and is the personal story of both author, Miranda Richmond Mouillot, and that of her grandparents – Anna and Armand. Miranda was the only grandchild of Anna and Armand. Although her parents were divorced, she was close to both her mother and her father and her step-pa...

Janet rated it ★★★★★

July 31, 2014

This is the story Miranda knew about the life of her grandparents. They met, married, had two children, separated, never met or spoke again. Miranda is one of the last links left between them and is compelled to find out more of their history. She wants to understand how they could have survived...

Renee rated it ★★★★★

July 24, 2014

A Fifty Year Silence embodies the rare triple achievement of telling a compelling story in beautiful language, while offering profound insights into the human condition. The author's quest to explain her grandparents' half-century estrangement leads her not only through the labyrinth of their gri...

Bridget rated it ★★★★★

June 04, 2016

I could not put this book down from the moment I received my advanced reader copy and am only sad I cannot purchase a copy yet to send to my mother. Part mystery, part memoir, "a Fifty Year Silence" takes the author on a journey to France to discover what caused the rift between her grandparents...

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