A Daugh­ter of Her Century

Vera Fos­ter
  • Review
By – September 13, 2011
A nar­ra­tive about the author’s life spans her shel­tered child­hood in Hun­gary, loss of her moth­er to a dis­ease caught as she tend­ed to the author, and the author’s awk­ward ado­les­cence. It is about anti-Semit­ic per­se­cu­tion by the Arrow Cross and the final shock of the Nazi incur­sion into Hun­gary; about hid­ing, des­per­a­tion, depor­ta­tion; the total hor­ror of the cat­tle car and the camps; lib­er­a­tion by the Rus­sians; loss of fam­i­ly, and reunions; and their sub­se­quent occu­pa­tion of Hun­gary as it evolved from oppor­tu­ni­ty to total­i­tar­i­an­ism;.… so how is it dif­fer­ent? Foster’s sto­ry is much more than a sim­ple nar­ra­tive. Her voice is dif­fer­ent from oth­er authors who write about the same top­ics. Her writ­ing, some­times wry, is superb; her intrin­sic sense of humor and per­spec­tive lend it dis­tinc­tion. She shows how sur­vival may depend on ran­dom acts of good­ness, and how the dark­est of times can be illu­mi­nat­ed with flash­es of light.”

Describ­ing the rush for free­dom by Hun­gar­i­ans tem­porar­i­ly freed from Com­mu­nism before the Rus­sians close in once again and the bor­ders close, she writes: Whole vil­lages were on the move, like Buir­nam Wood to Dun­si­nane, painful­ly tear­ing up their roots.” When Fos­ter spon­ta­neous­ly toasts Com­mu­nism, from which she wants to escape, a friend, under­stand­ing, com­ments: “…You thought that Com­mu­nism restrict­ed your life, but Fas­cism want­ed to take it away.”
Mar­cia W. Pos­ner, Ph.D., of the Holo­caust Memo­r­i­al and Tol­er­ance Cen­ter of Nas­sau Coun­ty, is the library and pro­gram direc­tor. An author and play­wright her­self, she loves review­ing for JBW and read­ing all the oth­er reviews and arti­cles in this mar­velous periodical.

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