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The Pages In Between

The Pages In Between

A Holocaust Legacy of Two Families, One Home

  • reading group guide
Now available in paperback: “a moving account of one woman’s brave journey as she confronts her mother’s past in the cold reality of the present. Einhorn has written a unique holocaust story—part testimony and part detective story” (Martin Lemelman, author of Mendel’s Daughter).

First aired as a segment of This American Life entitled “Settling the Score,” The Pages in Between is the moving story of Einhorn’s personal journey of reconciliation and discovery in modern-day Poland. Frustrated by her mother’s refusal to talk about her tragic and unusual childhood, Einhorn traveled to Poland to find the family that safeguarded her from the Nazis as an infant. What she uncovered was the legacy left behind by a sixtyyear- old promise made by her grandfather: to give the family that harbored her mother during the war everything he had—most importantly the deed to his own family’s house. In her attempt to fulfill that debt that saved her mother’s life, Einhorn comes face to face with the realities of present day Poland, where a dispute of this kind requires endless digging through painful and often hidden history. Along the way, she suffers her own personal losses and begins to question how much of the future should be jeopardized in order to right the wrongs of the past. Part family history, part personal and present coming of age memoir, The Pages in Between powerfully tells of a young woman’s quest for the “truth” about her mother’s life, and of learning the lesson that this truth might be impossible to find.
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  • Touchstone | 
  • 288 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416558316 | 
  • April 2009
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Reading Group Guide

For Discussion:
1. Erin's discoveries led her to question her family stories. Do you feel that family stories are likely to be historically inaccurate? If so, why do you think that is?
2. Did your impression of Wieslaw Skowronski's change? Was your opinion about his family (Marta and Helen) different as the book progressed?
3. Why do you think Erin was so passionate about finding out the truth of what happened to her mom? Do you believe she would have acted with the same drive if her mom hadn't been diagnosed with cancer?
4. Why do you think Erin didn't tell Wieslaw about her mother's illness and death? What do you think would have occurred differently if she had told him the truth?
5. Erin points out that young Polish people are fascinated with Jewish culture. Do you think that exists in American culture for a mainstream group to be curious about an outside group of some kind?
6. What do you think was the most interesting discovery Erin made?
7. When Helen asks about Jews eating blood-filled cake, Krys is more offended than Erin is. Why do you think Krys took more offense?
8. The experience Erin had in Sweden with Fannie couldn't have been more different than her experience with Wieslaw. Why do you think they differed so much?
9. How did you feel about Wieslaw's reaction to Erin's mother's death? Was it rude?
10. Erin's last experience with Wieslaw changed her opinion about wanting to live in Poland. Why do you think t see more

About the Author

Erin Einhorn
Photo Credit:

Erin Einhorn

Erin Einhorn is a reporter for the New York Daily News where she's covered New York City's government and the nation's largest public school system. She has written for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and Fortune. A contributor to public radio's This American Life, Einhorn and her story were the basis for one of the show's most popular episodes. She lives in New York City.

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