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Irena's Gift

Nonfiction: History
Unabridged   7.5 hour(s)
Publication date: 07/23/2024

F O R T H C O M I N G ! Available July

Irena's Gift

An Epic WWII Memoir of Sisters, Secrets, and Survival

Available from major retailers
Digital Download ISBN:9781696616140


Weaving mystery, history, and memoir, Irena's Gift is the captivating account of one woman's personal quest to uncover the unspoken and give voice to her family's secret war-torn history.

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Product Description

In 1942, in German-occupied Poland, a Jewish baby girl was smuggled out of the Warsaw ghetto in a backpack. That baby, Joasia, knew nothing about this extraordinary event until she was thirty-two, when a letter arrived from a stranger. She also learned that the parents who raised her were actually her aunt and uncle. Joasia kept this knowledge hidden from her own daughter, Karen—until an innocent question unexpectedly revealed the truth.

Determined to understand the generational trauma that cloaked her family in silence, her own origins, and to help heal her mother's pain, Karen set out to unearth decades of secrets and piece together a hidden history—from the glittering days of pre-war Poland to the little-known Radom Prison, where of 500 resistance members tortured, only ten survived, her grandfather the only known Jewish one. There, Karen finds answers, yet not easy ones.

As she exposes her family's saga of love and betrayal, countless brushes with death, precarious hiding places, and the astounding negotiation with an SS officer who saved her mother's life, Karen must reconcile the complicated, multi-faceted truths behind human behavior.

Author Bio

Karen Kirsten is an Australian American writer, and refugee advocate and genocide educator who lectures on the topics of hatred and reconciliation around the world. Her work has appeared in Salon.com, the Week, the Jerusalem Post, WIEZ in Poland, Boston's National Public Radio station, and the Sydney Morning Herald.