Episode 72 - Jennifer Rosner
Jennifer Rosner is a good conversationalist. Earlier this week we settled into an easy conversation about a hard topic: children who were stolen from their families during and immediately after WWII. That's the topic of her latest novel, Once We Were Home, a devastatingly beautiful book about belonging, identity, and parents' sacrificial love.
It follows four children—Ana, Oskar, Roger and Renata—as they are bounced around from place to place. Some of them were left with Christian families or nuns during the Holocaust for safekeeping. After WWII, the church didn't always want to give these kids back. Sometimes activists stole the children from the foster parents who had raised them in order to take them to Palestine. The book also explores a Nazi program that stole children who appeared to be Aryan from families in occupied lands such as Poland and gave them to German parents to raise.
When we sat down to chat, Jennifer noted that in all of these cases the people taking the children thought they were doing the right thing.
Once We Were Home is Jennifer's second novel. Her first, The Yellow Bird Sings, was a National Jewish Book Award finalist and a Massachusetts Book Award Honor book. She has also written a memoir and two children's books.
During out interview, Jennifer reveals...
- What drew her to this topic
- How being a hearing parent of deaf children influenced her work
- Why she wanted to tell this story from the perspective of the stolen children rather than the adults around them
During the show Jennifer mentioned several go-to books she's had over the years. The first listener to reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter to tell us the name of one of them will win a free copy of Once We Were Home.
If you've won a ReadMore giveaway in the last 90 days, you're ineligible. If you and I ever saw the sunrise from the old Miami Herald building downtown, you're probably ineligible. ReadMore doesn't have a friends and family plan. But we'll always have the memories of those incredible Bay views.