A Ship in the Harbor: Mother and Me, Book II, is a continuation of Book I, Mother and Me: Escape from Warsaw 1939. Book II begins with the author’s mother’s funeral in a Catholic cemetery in Connecticut — a story in itself — and then relates the harrowing journey over the Carpathian Mountains to Hungary as mother and son escape from Poland during the Nazi incursion and Russian occupation. Back in Poland, his mother had relinquished all responsibility for his upbringing to a Catholic governess, who had been more a mother to him than his own beautiful, decadent mother. She depends on the generosity of a large circle of socialite friends and becomes the mistress of a wealthy Rumanian count who turns out to be a crook, whereupon mother and son return to Budapest and the largesse of the mother’s friends. This is the merriest, most light-hearted descriptive narrative about this period of history that I have ever read. It would make a great novel.
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.