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Fb2 In My Mother's House: A Novel ePub

by Margaret McMullan

Category: United States
Subcategory: Fiction
Author: Margaret McMullan
ISBN: 0312318251
ISBN13: 978-0312318253
Language: English
Publisher: Picador; First edition (October 1, 2004)
Pages: 272
Fb2 eBook: 1390 kb
ePub eBook: 1440 kb
Digital formats: lit azw lrf docx

In My Mother's House book. It's an emotional, expertly told novel that proves that Margaret McMullan will soon join the ranks of writers such as Anita Shreve and Carol Shields.

In My Mother's House book.

In My Mother’s House looks at the pain and cost of a family struggling to. .Featured book at the 2008 Conference for the Book and the Young Authors.

In My Mother’s House looks at the pain and cost of a family struggling to regain what took them generations to build. It’s a poignant, expertly told novel that establishes Margaret McMullan as a novelist soon to join the ranks of writers such as Anita Shreve and Carol Shields. Listen to an Interview with Margaret on Public Radio (MP3). Society of Midland Authors 2003 Best Book of the Year Finalist. 2003 PEN/Faulkner Award Nominee. Featured book at the 2008 Conference for the Book and the Young Authors Fair, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS, given to every ninth grader in Oxford and Lafayette County. Praise for In My Mother’s House.

In My Mother's House. Praise for In My Mother's House. Spinning like a two-sided medal, this exquisite novel alternates the voices of two women, and ultimately opposites start to merge: past and present, mother and daughter, Christianity and Judaism, bitterness and reconciliation. I salute Margaret McMullan's elegantly crafted prose, her beautiful restraint, her emotional honesty, and her storytelling power.

Margaret McMullan has attempted to answer these questions in her strong, sensitive and essential novel, "In My Mother's House," a profound examination of the Holocaust on the second and third generation of survivors

Margaret McMullan has attempted to answer these questions in her strong, sensitive and essential novel, "In My Mother's House," a profound examination of the Holocaust on the second and third generation of survivors. McMullan explores the Holocaust's resonant hurt and answers its unspoken questions through Elizabeth and her mother Jenny, the latter bent on denial and silence, the former wrestling with existential confusion, a tormented relationship with her mother and an unresolved identity.

Margaret Olwen MacMillan CC CH (born 23 December 1943) is a Canadian historian and professor at the University of Oxford. She is former provost of Trinity College and professor of history at the University of Toronto and previously at Ryerson University. She is a great-granddaughter of former British Prime Minister David Lloyd George.

In My Mother's House is a beautiful, haunting, and expertly told novel about a daughter's obsession to understand her mother's commitment to silence about their family's experiences during WWII Vienna. The story of Elizabeth and her mother Jenny is remarkable for its fullness of details: the pieces of family silver the grandmother mails to Jenny, piece by piece, over the years; Jenny's vivid memories of her uncle's viola d'amore lessons; the smell of the wood floors in the family's Vienna home  .

In My Mother's House is a poignant look at a family struggling to regain what took them generations to build and at what cost.

This novel takes place 10 years after HOW I FOUND THE STRONG ended and deals with the reconstruction and race relations after the war.

It's 1962, a year after the death of Sam's father-he was a war hero-and Sam and her mother must move, along with their very liberal views, to Jackson, Mississippi, her father's conservative hometown. Needless to say, they don't quite fit i. eople like the McLemores fear that Sam, her mother, and her mother's artist friend, Perry, are in the South to "agitate" and to shake up the dividing lines between black and white and blur it all to grey. This novel takes place 10 years after HOW I FOUND THE STRONG ended and deals with the reconstruction and race relations after the war.

In My Mother's House is a beautiful, haunting, and expertly told novel about a daughter's obsession to understand her mother's commitment to silence about their family's experiences during WWII Vienna. The story of Elizabeth and her mother Jenny is remarkable for its fullness of details: the pieces of family silver the grandmother mails to Jenny, piece by piece, over the years; Jenny's vivid memories of her uncle's viola d'amore lessons; the smell of the wood floors in the family's Vienna home. It's an emotional story of what is inherited from one generation to the next.

Comments to eBook In My Mother's House: A Novel
Monin
In what unforeseen manners does a catastrophic event, now years past, continue to define a family's identity? Is it best for a parent to forget a troubled past and shield her child from anguish or to assist the child in confronting something that could upset, alter or even destroy a parent-child relationship? To what extent is the past never "the past," but a continuous, immediate presence in our daily lives? Margaret McMullan has attempted to answer these questions in her strong, sensitive and essential novel, "In My Mother's House," a profound examination of the Holocaust on the second and third generation of survivors. McMullan explores the Holocaust's resonant hurt and answers its unspoken questions through Elizabeth and her mother Jenny, the latter bent on denial and silence, the former wrestling with existential confusion, a tormented relationship with her mother and an unresolved identity.

"In My Mother's House" is permeated with what memoirist Fern Schumer Chapman, author of "Motherland," concisely labels "the half-life of the Holocaust:" its silent, subtle and surreptitious grip on the children of survivors. Jenny is a child escapee and daughter of an aloof, imperious Jewish father who converted to Catholicism as an adult and repudiated his ancestral heritage. Now an assimilated American, she has produced a sensitive, questioning daughter who feels incomplete and adrift because of her lack of knowledge of her mother's past. Elizabeth describes herself "immersed in death and memory," but her self-definition accurately depicts her mother.

Mother and daughter face the vexing issues survivors and their children necessarily confront if there is to be any hope of family coherence and personal mental health. Abandonment and denial. Self-eradication and the legacy of loss. Displacement and return. Memory and connection. As Elizabeth presses her mother for a full disclosure of the past and as Jenny steadfastly rebuffs her daughter's attempts to explore what the mother has walled off, both women risk having their hearts "tighten up" as though they were "hardened candy."

At the onset of the novel, Elizabeth is unaware of her mother's past, presumably content with her present status as an American Catholic, newly relocated from Mississippi to Chicago's North Shore. "My mother never spoke of the past." The child Elizabeth is aware that members of her family perished during World War II, but she "had to figure `the war' out on" her own. Not illogically, she concludes that the "death camps were for Catholics, not Jews."

While Jenny consciously obliterates any mention of the past, constructing an icy distance from her estranged father and, by inference, her family's past, Elizabeth unconsciously replicates her mother's pattern. When her great grandmother regularly sends her pieces of tarnished silverware, the child hides them under her bed in a box, next to her grandfather's discarded autobiography, "which lies facedown...an arm's reach away." The dulled family heirlooms come to symbolize an obscured, painful history, too ugly to use but too precious to discard.

During Elizabeth's adolescence, her mother's obdurate silence crystallizes into an emphatic declaration: "I swore no more questions about the past...about what was dead and gone." Already conscious about her family's differences from their affluent, assimilated Midwestern neighbors, Elizabeth determines "that I would never ask another question about what was dead and gone." Her fear is that her "mother's past would run our little family." Yet denied history does not disappear, and as Elizabeth matures into adulthood, her unresolved appetite for historical authenticity gnaws at her; her resultant anorexia causes her body to disappear but her hunger for truth to grow.

Margaret McMullen's compassionate portrayal of Elizabeth's quest for identity resolves the question of an unresolved past, one which has poisoned Jenny's relationship with her father, one which has fractured her deep but injurious love for Elizabeth and one which has made Elizabeth incapable of giving and receiving love. Elizabeth's decision to seek out her Jewish roots matches her mother's commitment to eradicate them. Both derive from ruined history, denial and the consequences of self-eradication.

Increasingly, as the living voices of survivors become fewer in number, we will come to depend on their children to assist us in understanding the implications of the Holocaust. "In My Mother's House" illuminates the pivotal issue of identity formation in the shadow of the Holocaust through a mother-daughter relationship. Both Jenny and Elizabeth face each other and their distinct, but intertwined, histories. They come to grips with their own emotional landscape of exile, recrimination and separation, and in so doing, the two try to navigate their way out of diaspora.
Gajurus
This is a story that can transport you to another time and place. The characters and settings come to life through the author's word choice. The ending will leave you satisfied and wanting more from Ms. McMullan.
Error parents
I know the author's first novel and that's why I started to read this - her second.
As I had expected, I've already been attracted by the story though I'm yet only half way. I especially like the description of a father and a very young daughter relationship at the beginning which easily reminds us of our own similar happy childhood with our father. Elegant, refined still very serious is my first impression of this novel. Besides, the English of this novel is not so hard for non-English speakers like me.
I can't wait to see what will be happening to this family. I'll go on reading as fast as I can. "I'll be back" here when I'm finished with it.
A Japanese reader in Japan!!
Zepavitta
In My Mother's House by Margaret McMullan is a literary masterpiece of juxtapositions - in plot, pace, perspective and personal politics. McMullan, who is the Chair of the English department at the University of Evansville, has crafted a novel set amidst a backdrop of several generations of extraordinary women, seeking to find meaning despite the selfish, destructive, and ultimately cowardly actions of the family patriarch. Particularly, this is the story of a mother, Genevieve, and her daughter Elizabeth, who grapple to come to terms with each other and themselves in understanding Genevieve's father and Elizabeth's grandfather, an Austrian monarchist and intellectual who literally sold out to the Nazis.
This sell-out of family, religion, and home symbolically represents Austria's lack of any resistance in its "Anschluss" to Nazi Germany - a German term literally translated as "coupling on to the end." Indeed, the patriarch's conversion from Judaism to Catholicism, and his sale of the little Viennese palace "Hofzeile", the family's aristocratic home, to the nephew of top-ranking Nazi official Hermann Goering are the beginning of the end and eventually represent the complicated fiber in Elizabeth's and Genevieve's tormenting search for self-knowledge. Ultimately, it is the patriarch's selfish abandonment of mother, wife and daughter in the face of Nazi atrocities and persecution that not only makes a powerful statement for a family's power resting in its maternal roots, but also seals the fact that this family has reached its final destination. A further "Anschluss," a term used in present-day German to refer to connecting flights or trains, for this family seems unlikely.
Indeed, as the mother and daughter team eventually flee Europe for the United States, Genevieve proclaims that "we are going to a new country where we would be new people." Representative of the women's struggle is Genevieve's amendment that "we wouldn't be altogether new - that we would still remember and we always would be the sum total of what happens to us." It is the escape from Vienna that defines Genevieve's and Elizabeth's relationship; told from the perspective of the daughter Elizabeth, her mother Genevieve "changed that night and everything between us changed."
McMullan masterfully tells the story from two different perspectives - from both Genevieve's and Elizabeth's points of view. Not only has she created a chronological juxtaposition between the pre-war, World War II and the post-war generations, but she also is able to create fascinating insights into cultural nuances between the traditional world of the Austrian capital of Vienna and the modern-day world of the United States. It is the stuffy, traditional Vienna that despite its glorious wealth of artistry and history loses in this transcontinental showdown. This cultural contrast is a constant theme throughout McMullan's novel, skillfully portrayed by the classical music of Austrian composers Elizabeth had learned to play on the piano, while Genevieve pursues the guitar and the groundbreaking music of Arlo Guthrie and other American icons of folk and rock music. At its most basic clue for a struggle of identity is the transformation of the name Genevieve into a simple "Jenny."
It is the mother Genevieve, who holds on to Vienna's rich artistry or intellectual wealth and finer things such as real candles on a Christmas tree. But at the same time she despises all the history, particularly the moment in time when Austria was "angeschlossen," - connected on to the end of Germany. This hatred plays out in her relationship with her father, whose memoirs are as impersonal as it can get, mostly written in the passive voice without hardly any reference to family. It is fascinating to note that McMullan weaves into Genevieve's story that Sigmund Freud also never was able to re-connect with his native Vienna and Austria, referred to as the motherland in stark contrast to German's heritage deriving from the fatherland.
Just as Genevieve struggles to live in exile, it is difficult for her daughter to find her ways. She actively tries to re-connect to the family's past, most symbolically in her conversion to Judaism. In a personal pilgrimage to Vienna, Elizabeth visits her grandmother's grave in the city's Jewish cemetery, while her grandfather's recently-dug grave lies in one of the city's Christian cemeteries. She fully understands her grandfather's life at this point - a fraud so inglorious that her own mother had never come to internalize. Just as her grandmother's gravestone proclaims "Going Home," Elizabeth is now ready to return home. In some sense, the family's connection to the future is sealed, but only after both mother and daughter understand that the family patriarch's journey was one to nowhere.
Timberahue
This is essentially a mother-daughter story, but it is also so much more. The book challenges what we think of faith, of relationships, of life itself. I was hooked from the first page, and although I have read several books since reading this one, I am still thinking of the characters and their story. Having grown up in Austria, 20 years after the war made this an especially poignant read for me. It made me wonder about all those friendly grandfathers I met growing up. Who were they during the war?
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