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The Way Home: A German Childhood, an…

The Way Home: A German Childhood, an American Life

by Ernestine Bradley

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The writer was a child in Bavaria in World War II, & her depiction of the times is very real - mostly because it's so ordinary. She becomes a stewardess, then a professor, and she marries Sen. Bill Bradley. She examines her family dynamics as she travels back to Germany, and she takes us along on her psychological/spiritual journey as she is diagnosed with cancer.

I enjoyed her as a person, but sometimes I felt she was a little too well-adjusted to write a really riveting book! ( )
  astrologerjenny | Apr 24, 2013 |
4177 The Way Home A German Childhood, An American Life, by Ernestine Bradley (read 16 June 2006) This is by Senator Ed Bradley's wife, who was born in Bavaria in 1935 to a woman who married a man not the father of her unborn child. In 1943 said mother divorced her husband and when the actual father came home from the war married him. Ernestine came to the US at age 21, became an airline stewardess, married a guy, had a child, and when they were divorced he got custody of the child because it was feared she would take the child to Germany. She married Ed Bradley in 1974 when he was still playing pro basketball. He was Senator from New Jersey from 1979 to 1997 and ran for President in 2000. The author spends a lot of time analyzing herself and seems to have had much emotional trouble. The book is of some interest but I think a book about her husband would be more interesting. ( )
  Schmerguls | Oct 23, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 037542279X, Hardcover)

In this moving and candid memoir we meet Ernestine Bradley, the wife of former senator and presidential hopeful Bill Bradley. She stood out among Senate wives: a German-born lover of languages and a transplant to America, Ernestine had a full-time career in New Jersey as a professor of comparative literature, commuted weekly to Washington, D.C., and ran two households—she was in constant motion.

As the book opens, Ernestine takes us to the small town of Passau, Germany, her childhood home, offering a vivid picture of ordinary German life during the Nazi period and just after World War II. As kids on the loose while the fathers were away at war and the mothers were working, Ernestine and her pals explored the town’s winding alleys and its three rivers, experiencing a sense of adventure and freedom (despite the privations of war) that would be a touchstone throughout her life. Ernestine vividly describes how she came to see opportunity in defeat as she watched the American troops roll through her little town; this was a primal moment that helped her to face everything that was to come. We follow her as she leaves West Germany, lands a glamorous job as an airline stewardess, and arrives in America, where she marries unhappily and divorces before finally meeting the basketball star and future senator. We watch their romance become an inspiring marriage of equals, his steadiness the perfect complement to her passionate, sometimes flaring nature, as their lives are soon crowded with family, the demands of their individual careers, politics, and, finally, Ernestine’s fight with breast cancer.

This is a wonderful, inspiring story from a woman who has triumphed—both publicly and personally—against great odds. It is also the introduction to an exuberant voice, one that invites us to reflect on all that we have and on how far we may have to travel to find our way home.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:04 -0400)

A memoir by the wife of former senator Bill Bradley describes growing up in a small German town during and after World War II; her romance with the basketball star-turned-politician; and their complex life of family, careers, and politics.

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