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The Choice

The Choice 2

Embrace the Possible

by Edith Eger
Paperback
Publication Date: 16/08/2018
4/5 Rating 2 Reviews
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THE AWARD-WINNING INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
by Edith Eger, as seen on BBC Breakfast

Even in hell, hope can flower

'I'll be forever changed by her story' - Oprah Winfrey

'One of those rare and eternal stories you don't want to end' - Desmond Tutu

'A masterpiece of holocaust literature. Her memoir, like her life, is extraordinary, harrowing and inspiring in equal measure' - The Times Literary Supplement

'I can't imagine a more important message for modern times. Eger's book is a triumph' - The New York Times


'Little dancer', Mengele says, 'dance for me'

In 1944, sixteen-year-old ballerina Edith Eger was sent to Auschwitz. Separated from her parents on arrival, she endures unimaginable experiences, including being made to dance for the infamous Josef Mengele. When the camp is finally liberated, she is pulled from a pile of bodies, barely alive.

The horrors of the Holocaust didn't break Edith. In fact, they helped her learn to live again with a life-affirming strength and a truly remarkable resilience.

The Choiceis her unforgettable story. It shows that hope can flower in the most unlikely places.
ISBN:
9781846045127
9781846045127
Category:
Ethics & moral philosophy
Format:
Paperback
Publication Date:
16-08-2018
Language:
English
Publisher:
Penguin Random House
Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Dimensions (mm):
197x127x22mm
Weight:
0.26kg
Edith Eger

A native of Hungary, Edith Eger was a teenager in 1944 when she and her family were sent to Auschwitz during the Second World War.

Despite overwhelming odds, Edith survived the Holocaust and moved with her husband to the United States. Having worked in a factory whilst raising her young family, she went on to graduate with a PhD from the University of Texas and became an eminent psychologist.

Today, she lectures around the world and is often flown in by the military to deal with their most troubling cases.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

5 / 5 (2 Ratings)
5 stars (1)
4 stars (1)
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1 stars (0)
  • Fascinating and Inspiring

    by on

    The holocaust and survivor stories is one the subjects I really enjoy reading about and have visited Auschwitz. This is a book that will make you wonder at the ability of the human spirit and survival - I thoroughly enjoyed.

  • “From imprisonment to freedom”

    by on

    “Just remember, no one can take away from you what you’ve put in your mind.”

    Sometimes a book will find you at the very moment you need it. This is one of those books. I’ve previously marvelled at the resilience of some other remarkable human beings who survived the Holocaust. Elie Wiesel. Viktor Frankl.

    Joining them is Edith Eger. A survivor whose courage both astounds me and gives me hope. A woman who will be occupying the space in my heart that she has made bigger with her compassion. A touchstone for the times I feel like I don’t have the strength to survive my own pain.

    “What follows is the story of the choices, big and small, that can lead us from trauma to triumph, from darkness to light, from imprisonment to freedom.”

    It would be so easy to hear even part of Edith’s story and say to yourself that your pain is insignificant compared to what she has experienced but after reading this book I realise that would be a disservice to her. Edith doesn’t rank pain and would prefer your response to be one of, “If she can do it, then so can I!” For someone whose power was taken away in such a brutal way at such a young age, Edith’s message is that much more empowering and impactful.

    I can’t begin to imagine how I would have fared if I had been in Edith’s place. What I do know is, like everyone, I have experienced pain and trauma. Through Edith’s story and those of the people she’s counselled, I gained insights into my own life. Light made its way into dark corners that are painful to look at and while there’s still plenty of work to be done, it no longer feels impossible. Now I just need to make a counselling appointment with Edith.

    I expected to ugly cry my way through this book and surprised myself when I didn’t. The tears came unexpectedly, when I started rambling about how extraordinary Edith’s story is to someone. I was doing fine, right up until I began to explain that Edith would not have survived had it not been for a loaf of bread. Then I lost it.

    Any story that even lightly touches on the Holocaust is bound to include the depravity that humans inflict on other humans. What touched me so much about that part of Edith’s story was it showed me the beauty that can still live within people, despite the ugliness that surrounds them.

    I loved the way this book was written. I often felt like I was in conversation with Edith, that I was sitting across from her in a comfy chair in a room with a fireplace warming us as she was telling me a specific part of her story. I ran the gamut of emotions as I was reading but the style itself felt very down to earth.

    “No one heals in a straight line.”

    One of my favourite takeaways is the way Edith explains trauma. She doesn’t shy away from talking about the long term impacts she has lived with and that alone endeared her to me. So often the message seems to be that once you have survived the experience it’s all sunshine and roses from that day forward. No, pain hurts and surviving the aftermath of pain hurts too.

    Edith’s authenticity when she talked about experiencing flashbacks and nightmares decades after her initial survival spoke to parts of me I can’t even verbalise yet, but I know some of what I felt as I read those parts was a bubbling hope rising up within me. When I read her take on PTSD I actually stopped reading to cheer; what I have long believed was actually being said by someone else.

    “This is why I now object to pathologizing post-traumatic stress by calling it a disorder. It’s not a disordered reaction to trauma - it’s a common and natural one.”

    I can already see a time in the near future where I’m going to need to reread this book. Different things are going to speak to me at different parts of my life; I can feel it in my bones.

    “What happened can never be forgotten and can never be changed. But over time I learned that I can choose how to respond to the past.”

    It’s not unusual for me to finish a book and be overcome by the need to book evangelise. Oftentimes it’s a wanting to shout from the rooftops, ‘Hey, you! Read this book! Then let’s talk about how much we both loved it.’ I also want to book evangelise ‘The Choice’ but it’s coming more from a quiet knowing that this book can change lives. It’s a desire for people to get an infusion of compassion and empathy, to see in black and white what can happen when we don’t treat other humans like humans, and to make sure this never happens again.

    “We can choose what the horror teaches us. To become bitter in our grief and fear. Hostile. Paralyzed. Or to hold on to the childlike part of us, the lively and curious part, the part that is innocent.”

    I’m in awe of Edith surviving Auschwitz at all. To see what she has done since, both in working towards her own healing and facilitating the healing of countless others? I don’t know enough words to be able to adequately convey the way that makes me feel. This is truly a remarkable woman and if you haven’t already, you really need to read this book.

    Content warnings are included on my blog.

    Thank you so much to NetGalley and Rider, an imprint of Ebury Press, Penguin Random House UK, for the opportunity to read this book.