The Cure For Grief

Nel­lie Hermann
  • Review
By – January 27, 2012

Through the nar­ra­tive voice of nine-year-old Ruby Bron­stein, first time nov­el­ist Nel­lie Her­mann takes read­ers on a jour­ney through time to wit­ness the trag­ic events that drove this young girl emo­tion­al­ly inward and irrev­o­ca­bly altered her family’s relationships. 

While set pri­mar­i­ly in the pic­turesque east­ern states of Mass­a­chu­setts and Maine, with young Ruby recall­ing the idyl­lic land­scapes and for­ma­tive scenes of her family’s sum­mer home on the shore, this mul­ti­lay­ered com­ing of age sto­ry suc­ceeds in its uni­ver­sal famil­iar­i­ty. With three old­er broth­ers, Abe, Aaron, and Nathan, Ruby is the youngest child of a moth­er who con­vert­ed to Judaism and a father who sur­vived the atroc­i­ties of the Holo­caust only to keep his past hid­den from his chil­dren, unwill­ing or unable to dis­cuss that dark chap­ter of his life. 

Ruby is com­fort­able with her role in the fam­i­ly until a series of cat­a­stroph­ic events cause her to ques­tion every­thing she thought she knew and her place both with­in the micro­cosm of her fam­i­ly and on the larg­er stage of human existence. 

The title, The Cure for Grief, describes the dif­fi­cult road Ruby tra­vers­es in deal­ing with strong feel­ings of loss, anger, and dis­be­lief at the sit­u­a­tions and cir­cum­stances she has no choice but to endure. While Ruby’s jour­ney begins with a quest to find a treat­ment for what ails her, she dis­cov­ers along the way that while there is no defin­i­tive cure for grief, ulti­mate­ly she holds the key to unlock­ing her emo­tions and learn­ing to move forward.

Mol­ly Beth Dubin received an M.A. in art his­to­ry and muse­um stud­ies from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Den­ver. She is cul­tur­al arts direc­tor for the Har­ry & Rose Sam­son Fam­i­ly Jew­ish Com­mu­ni­ty Cen­ter of Milwaukee.

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