A friend who read Motherland three times wrote to tell me that he had made new discoveries on his most recent reading. He said he looked at the book through the “specially-ground lens” of his own personal experiences. On this reading, he identified “the vividness with which she (Edith) carried, late into her life, the feeling of desertion she had when her parents sent her to safety, even though – as an adult – she knew that this ‘desertion’ had saved her life. Obviously that was a child’s perception, but equally obviously, it had stayed, like a bullet that couldn’t be extracted.”
That is the sad reality of trauma: It freezes the victim in the moments of the devastating event.
He concludes: “We are too often a tragic species. Praise God that we are occasionally able to hold lamps for each other.”