Daily Archives: April 16, 2021

The Unanswered Letter: One Holocaust Family’s Desperate Plea for Help Book Review

Sometimes, when it seems that all is lost, fate has a way of guiding us to the right path.

In the early 2000’s, writer Faris Cassell received a letter that would change her life and answer decades long questions of a family she had never met. The story of that letter is told in her 2020 book, The Unanswered Letter: One Holocaust Family’s Desperate Plea for Help. In 1939, Alfred Berger was a Jewish man living in Vienna. His once tight knit and happy family has been forced apart due to the Nazi invasion and the threat to lives of the Jews of Europe. With his daughters safely out of the country, Alfred is desperate to find a way out for himself and his wife. Taking a chance, he writes to strangers with the same last name living in California, hoping that they will provide the help that is desperately needed.

Sixty plus years later, this letter is given to Cassell’s husband. It’s contents starts on her on a journey to find Berger’s living descendants. With a dogged persistence and a journalist’s skill, she is finally able to fill in the blanks of what happened to Alfred, his wife, and the rest of the family who were caught in the German crossfire.

The book is fantastic. It was a heart pounding voyage that immediately hooked me and kept me in rapt attention until the final page. It was a powerful story of love, hope, and ultimately survival.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, History

Flashback Friday: The Kitchen (2014-Present)

There is nothing like getting together with friends. Adding food into the mix can only make the experience more pleasurable.

The Food Network series, The Kitchen, has been on the air since 2014. Five celebrity chefs (Katie Lee, Alex Guarnaschelli, Sunny Anderson, Jeff Mauro, and Geoffrey Zakarian) chit chat about life as they each create a dish based on a specific theme or style of cooking.

This is one of those shows that I will watch just because I feel the need to turn the television on. I am not a foodie, so watching a straight up cooking show is not my idea must see TV. After 7 years of being on the air, there is obviously a loyal following. But I am not one of them. It’s fine a program, but it is not for me.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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Filed under Flashback Friday, Television, TV Review