Crossing the Borders of Time

Crossing the Borders of Time

A True Story of War, Exile, and Love Reclaimed

Book - 2012
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   On a pier in Marseille in 1942, with desperate refugees pressing to board one of the last ships to escape France before the Nazis choked off its ports, an 18-year-old German Jewish girl was pried from the arms of the Catholic Frenchman she loved and promised to marry.  As the Lipari carried Janine and her family to Casablanca on the first leg of a perilous journey to safety in Cuba, she would read through her tears the farewell letter that Roland had slipped in her pocket: "Whatever the length of our separation, our love will survive it, because it depends on us alone. I give you my vow that whatever the time we must wait, you will be my wife. Never forget, never doubt." 
   Five years later - her fierce desire to reunite with Roland first obstructed by war and then, in secret, by her father and brother - Janine would build a new life in New York with a dynamic American husband.  That his obsession with Ayn Rand tormented their marriage was just one of the reasons she never ceased yearning to reclaim her lost love.  
   Investigative reporter Leslie Maitland grew up enthralled by her mother's accounts of forbidden romance and harrowing flight from the Nazis. Her book is both a journalist's vivid depiction of a world at war and a daughter's pursuit of a haunting question: what had become of the handsome Frenchman whose picture her mother continued to treasure almost fifty years after they parted? It is a tale of memory that reporting made real and a story of undying love that crosses the borders of time.

Publisher: New York : Other Press, [2012]
Copyright Date: ©2012
ISBN: 9781590514962
Branch Call Number: 940.5314509234 MAI
Characteristics: x, 494 pages : illustrations, map, portraits, facsimiles ; 24 cm

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DorisWaggoner
Aug 26, 2016

No matter how much history one might read about Nazi atrocities, they can't be fully understood without the stories of individual families. Maitland, a journalist, gives us both in this story of her family's experience and the research on her mother's family's in-the-nick-of-time escape, and the pain of leaving her lover behind. I appreciated the family tree, which I referred to multiple times, as her parents' extended family was large, and she covers multiple generations, both in Europe and America. In some ways, this is a dysfunctional family, but given what they were up against with the Nazis, keeping secrets became a necessity. How does one learn when it's safe to stop? The stories of Germany's efforts at reconciliation after the war, however imperfect, are heartening. I appreciated how Maitland shows her love for both her parents, in spite of their weaknesses and the struggles in their marriage. A page turner, in the best sense.

c
carol507
Jul 08, 2016

Interesting story, but way too wordy - don't need to know, in detail, what everyone is wearing all the time.

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EmilyEm
Sep 04, 2012

The author calls this a ?contextualized memoir? in her notes. It?s a new term to me but aptly describes this well-paced account of her mother Janine, her German Jewish family?s escape from the Nazis and the poignant story of the young man named Roland, seemingly left behind, but the love of her mother?s life.

It?s quite a story. I had a hard time putting this book down.

eve373 Jun 13, 2012

Filled with lots of fascinating family history. The Cuban refugee camp was something new to me. It's really only in the last 50 pages that you find out what happened to Roland.

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