An Exclusive Love: A Memoir

An Exclusive Love: A Memoir, by Johanna Adorjan ($16.47)

Amazon:  Johanna Adorján’s grandparents, Vera and Pista, were Holocaust survivors who fled their native Hungary during the revolt of 1956, subsequently finding refuge in Denmark. Many years later, with Pista’s health terminally declining, the two decided to take their own lives, leaving little explanation behind their final act beyond a small handwritten note. Shifting between myth and reality, past and present, Adorján’s compelling debut attempts to piece together the layered story of her grandparents’ lives. The book’s focal point is Adorján’s imagined account of their last day alive, with their final hours spent taking care of seemingly menial tasks; Vera bakes a cake, Pista listens to music. Intertwined with this vision is Adorján’s journey to uncover the details of her grandparents’ past, for which she relies on the fading recollections of surviving friends and family, along with her own childhood memories. As Adorján tries to understand her grandparents’ death, she also confronts her own feelings about her sense of heritage and identity. Blending history, memoir, and imaginative writing, Adorján’s nonlinear procedure creates a poignant narrative of unwavering love. –Leah Strauss

A review is here.

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