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Let Me Tell You a Story: A Memoir of a…
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Let Me Tell You a Story: A Memoir of a Wartime Childhood

by Renata Calverley

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Less "A memoir of a wartime childhood" and more "a childhood that happened to occur during wartime". While the war definitely frames Renata's life and dictates where she gets sent and how often, ultimately her recollection is that of a very young child that didn't understand what war was and therefore just ran about acting quite spoiled and constantly deciding she hated everyone that wouldn't give her everything she wanted.

I know that some people have a very good memory of their childhood, but the level of detail here is almost impossible to believe, which also made me side-eye the story the entire time. ( )
  sixteendays | Feb 12, 2016 |
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"Przemysl, Poland, 1939. No one has explained to two-year-old Renatka what war is. She knows her Tatus, a doctor, is away with the Polish Army, that her beautiful Mamusia is no longer allowed to work at the university, and that their frequent visitors among them Great Aunt Zuzia and Great Uncle Julek with their gifts of melon and clothes have stopped appearing. One morning Mamusia comes home with little yellow six-pointed stars for them to wear. Renatka thinks they will keep her family safe. In June of 1942, soldiers in gray-green uniforms take Renata, Mamusia, and grandmother Babcia to the Ghetto where they are crammed into one room with other frightened families. The adults are forced to work long hours at the factory and to survive on next to no food. One day Mamusia and Babcia do not return from their shifts. Six years old and utterly alone, Renata is passed from place to place and survives through the willingness of ordinary people to take the most deadly risks. Her unlikely blonde hair and blue eyes and other twists of fate save her life but stories become her salvation. Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales transport her to an enchanted world; David Copperfield helps her cope on her own. A chronicle of the horrors of war, Let Me Tell You a Story is a powerful and moving memoir of growing up in a traumatic world, and of the magical discovery of books." -- Book jacket… (more)

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