House of Glass: The Story and Secrets of a Twentieth-Century Jewish Family

S. & S. Mar. 2020. 304p. ISBN 9781501199158. $26. BIOG
Freeman (Life Moves Pretty Fast) presents a portrait of the Jewish experience in the 20th century through her family’s remarkable story. Growing up, Freeman’s parents rarely talked about their family’s past. Only vague details were known about her relatives in France, as well as her grandmother who relocated years earlier to the United States because of “the war.” In an effort to learn about her family, she decided to write about her late grandmother’s passion for fashion and art. Her grandmother’s former apartment was now occupied by a family who didn’t throw anything away, which led to Freeman’s discovery of a shoebox filled with clues to her family’s secretive past: photographs, some with faces scratched away; a note about the Glass family hiding in Paris under an assumed name; and photographs of and a sketch by Pablo Picasso. These uncovered artifacts would lead Freeman on an extraordinary journey of family and self-discovery.
VERDICT A timely exploration of family secrets, immigration, and anti-Semitism, this work will appeal to readers of World War II–era history.

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