"A book of inspiration . . . a Jewish celebration, and a universally human book. It is a profoundly moving story, and also a story within a story. . . . With the talents of a gifted storyteller, Gordon uses language to approach the indescribable, and the window she offers readers is very real, often painful, and amazingly generous."—Arthur Kurzweil, author of From Generation to Generation: How to Trace Your Jewish Genealogy and Family History
"Because of Eva is an unflinching, honest, and brave memoir, a woman’s journey to come to terms with her family’s shattered history. At times bewildered, but never bitter, Gordon explores this difficult topic with tremendous insight and sensitivity."—Amy Hill Hearth, author of In a World Gone Mad: A Heroic Story of Love, Faith, and Survival
"I was immediately gripped by Gordon’s unfolding story and vivid portrayal of the personalities and relationships of her relatives. Her research on the historical context of their lives, and her exploration of family secrets and myths will be models for the genealogical community."—Renee Stern Steinig, genealogist and former president of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Long Island
"As Gordon searches for and retells the heretofore hidden stories of her family, she reconnects them to her own life. This is a moving, well-written, entertaining, yet haunting book of events and stories based on the Jewish experience."—Zsuzsanna Ozsvath, The Leah and Paul Lewis Professor of Holocaust Studies, professor of literature and the history of ideas at the University of Texas at Dallas
"The book is a model of how to make a family history book come alive."—Beth Galleto, ZichronNote
"Because of Eva is a personal, heartfelt journey toward clarity in Susan J. Gordon’s own broken family, but it is so much more. Gordon’s perseverance, perceptiveness and courage should inspire others to delve into their own families’ past, and find their place in the chain of Jewish history. . . . Those with an interest in genealogy or the Holocaust, or anyone with estranged relatives in a branch of their tree, will be informed, touched and, most importantly, inspired by Gordon’s work."—The Jewish Advocate
In Because of Eva, an American Jewish woman travels to Eastern Europe and Israel to solve mysteries in her family’s past by delving into World War II and Holocaust history. What began as a seemingly simple search for “Eva,” the elderly relative who had signed Gordon’s grandfather’s death certificate in New York long ago, became a journey of discovery when Gordon found her in Tel Aviv. There, she heard Eva’s stories of survival during the Holocaust, especially in Nazi-occupied Budapest. Eventually, Gordon would retrace Eva’s steps in Budapest and visit ancestral towns in Ukraine to bear witness to the slaughter of entire populations of Jews. Amid remnants of loss and destruction in the small town where her grandfather was born, Gordon also uncovered details of her family’s world before relatives immigrated to America. Gordon’s journey into her past provided the deep sense of connection and belonging she needed as an adult child of divorce and abuse. Gaining insight about her family’s history, Gordon reconciles issues of betrayal and loyalty, and finally finds her place in Judaism. Part memoir, part detective story, Because of Eva is an intimate tale of one woman’s history within the epic sweep of world events in the twentieth century.
Susan J. Gordon has received the Best Memoir Award for Because of Eva by the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Her personal essays, articles and short stories have been published in many nationally known magazines and newspapers. She is also the author of Wedding Days: When and How Great Marriages Began.
6 x 9, 280 pages, 22 black and white illustrations