BOOK CLUB: The Writing on the Wall

Author:  Juliet Rieden
ISBN: 978-1-76055-948-9
RRP: $32.99
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia

As with many of us when we are children we don’t tend to give a lot of thought to anything much beyond our own existence and our immediate family.  Juliet Rieden did however notice that her friends had extended family members that she didn’t have, and for that reason she felt rather hard done by, she would drag out this complaint when there was a special event such as Christmas or her Birthday. 

It wasn’t until she was an adult and could give more thought to this lack of family that she understood how hurtful her comments must have been to her father.  When Juliet embarked on her quest to hunt for family members she didn’t fully understand exactly where her quest would lead her.  Her father John was flown out of Czechoslovakia on the last flight arranged by a mission that was taking Jewish children and bring them up in England in the Christian faith. 

This last flight left only a week before the Nazi’s entered Czechoslovakia and began their systematic removal of all Jews.  Juliet’s research leads her to unearth many family members names but only to then discover the tragic fates of so many of them.  Understanding more and more about the struggles her father faced and how each of these things made him into the man he was.

Juliet takes us step by step on her journey to research and hunt through her family tree.  We venture into a time in the world’s history that was horrific and a time that we must not forgot or ever allow to happen again.  We hear about mass murderers but what happened under Hitler’s reign was mass murder beyond belief. Not hundreds or even thousands but millions of innocent people murdered.

This is not a heartwarming story but it is one that’s important. There are many photos included which help tell her story and made me feel even more connected. It’s a story that reminds us all that you just don’t know someones story just by looking at them or even by having a conversation with them.  Even Juliet didn’t fully understand some of the things that made her father who he was until she researched her family and her father’s childhood.

Sometimes we as humans show amazing strength in our ability to keep moving forward and that’s just what John Rieden managed to do.
Juliet has a way of sharing her father’s story and her quest to find family that drags you in and takes your emotions along on the ride with her.  

Thanks to Pan MacMillan, 10 of our Beauty and Lace Club members are reading The Writing on the Wall by Juliet Rieden. You can read their reviews in the comments section below. Read the book? We would love to hear your thoughts too…

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