The last few years, my reading list has been pretty eclectic and esoteric. I’ve stuck to diligently reading non-fiction and I’ve been told that my books are heavy in content, too heavy to be consumed after a hard day’s work. The Choice is one such book. It is a biographical account of a Holocaust survivor and an incredibly difficult read – not because of its pace or its language, but because of what the author – Dr. Edith Eger – has lived through and the ways in which it continues to impact her life.
This book also happens to be my second read – after Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl – on the Holocaust and Auschwitz. And despite knowing what to expect – death, despair and the depravity of the human mind – I was pleasantly surprised. While it does talk about the author’s time at Auschwitz and Mauthausen, the focus of her writing is solely on offering her readers a template. To navigate life.
It is not just her experiences and the time that she spent at the death camps that is relevant, but also how those experiences defined her and her ability to help others heal through her chosen profession. And in describing all of this, she offers hope. To all of us, living through these times and carrying whatever demons we carry in our heads and our hearts. A difficult but enduring read.