By Miriam Romm
Gefen Publishing House, 2009, 273 pages
Ostrich Feathers is the remarkable story of an eight year old girl, living in Israel, who accidentally discovers that her father is not her natural parent, and that her father disappeared in Poland during the Holocaust. She is now fifty five years old, after years of trying to learn about her dad and trying to contact him or at least find out if he is still alive. She has returned to Poland, the land of her birth, perhaps someone knows about her dad.
She meets an old man in his eighties who has lost his memory of his youth. Can he be her father? Is it possible that the many Nazi beatings that he suffered during years of incarceration caused his loss of memory? Is she able to help him regain his past? Can she finally, after close to fifty years of searching, defeat the Nazis and be reunited with her dad?
The story is true, but it is written like an engrossing suspenseful novel and, as with a good novel, it draws its readers' attention. It is hard to put down.
There are subplots, such as the love story of her father and mother, her mother's escape from the Nazis while she was pregnant, the girl's birth surrounded by nuns who name the Jewish child Mary, or Miriam in Hebrew, after Jesus' mother, the two miracles surrounding Miriam's birth that the city is unable to forget for two generations, Miriam growing up in Israel, her marriage and children, the capture of her husband by Egyptians, and the rise of her husband to become a two star general in the Israeli Air Force, representing his country in America.
This book is so good that readers will find themselves saying that they hope that Miriam Romm writes another book, either fact or fiction.