Thursday, November 16, 2006

Book Review; A Whisper in My Heart

Based on a true story, A Whisper In My Heart, is the touching account of an 'orphan’s’ transition from feeling abandoned to knowing she is loved by the family that forgot her behind the Communist curtain in Europe in 1956 . We meet with Klari, for the first time, as well as her mother and extended family when at nearly 10 years of age Klari is reunited with her parents in Toronto, Canada. Only we are privy to her private thoughts while she struggles with the difficulties of being unable to speak the language of her new country and the fears she faces as she becomes acquainted with her parents as well as the Canadian way of life. Angry with her parents for leaving her behind when her mother, father, aunt, uncle and cousin escaped seven years earlier from Hungary, Klari is determined not to share her fears and frustrations with those whom she feels betrayed her, first by leaving her behind and then by ripping her away from all she knew and was comfortable with.

This exciting and emotion filled narrative keeps you engaged through to the very end. It holds appeal for children as young as eight and kept my attention as well. My daughters, aged 12 and 14 also enjoyed it thoroughly and could not put it down until finished. Something that occasionally caused a problem at chore time.

Catholic writer, Kathy Clark, author of A Whisper in My Heart is the only daughter of a Holocaust survivor. Both her mother and aunt were two of hundreds of Jewish children who escaped certain death by being hidden in monasteries all across Europe during the genocide of WWII. In their case they were hidden in the convent of the Daughters of St. Vincent de Paul (Nicknamed Angel Guardian House) in Hungary.

Later in life Kathy’s mother and step-father, along with other family members, escaped communist Hungary in the dead of night. Believing the journey too dangerous for her enfant daughter, her mother had to make the heart wrenching decision to leave the then two year old Kathy behind in the care of her maternal grandparents. Little did any of them realize that it would be seven years before the Communist government of Hungary could be convinced, through the tireless efforts of Kathy’s grand father, to release Kathy and allow her to emigrate to Canada so as to re-join her parents.

Born Jewish, Kathy Clark later converted to the Catholic faith and, with her husband Bruce Clark, has raised six children. It was her daughter’s questions about Kathy’s childhood and the memories that these evoked that led to her writing A Whisper In My Heart.

This book not only entertains, but also educates and can be used as the spring board for many ideas and questions well worth discussing. After sharing in Klari’s struggles in a new country we can discuss with our children (or students) how we can make new emigrants feel welcome in our country. This book also provides an opener to discussing the blessings and benefits of living here, in the free world, when we are faced with the question as to why a family would take the risks that Klari’s family took so as to come to North America. It also provides a doorway to history when children ask us about Communism. No home library should be without it.

You can buy directly from the author by writing to:


Or you can click HERE to order this book.
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