Sunday, September 26, 2010

Broken Birds, The Story of My Momila by Jeannette Katzir

Genre: Memoir, Non-Fiction
Format: EBook

This is a memoir by Jeanette Katzir. She tells the story of Channa and Nathan (her parents) and their struggles as World War II breaks out and they are ripped away from their families forever. It also gives us an insight into how the future of their family was shaped and molded by the horrors Channa and Nathan went through.

We travel with Channa and her brother as they join the Polish partisans and fight their way to stay alive in the forest. Once the war ends, they return to their home only to find their family is gone. They manage to get out of the country and make their way to America to begin a new life for themselves.

Nathan’s experiences were different in that his family was deported to Auschwitz and killed. Nathan was sent Dachau and put to hard labor, but he managed to escape and make his way to America.

Channa and Nathan meet in America, fall in love and get married. However, their individual experiences in the Holocaust shape their lives and the lives of the five children they have. Channa constantly worries that Nathan will leave her at any time and this causes many problems for her children many years later.

Having been taught by her mother to only trust blood relatives and everyone else is a stranger, the author tries to help her siblings with their lives. Sadly, her efforts tend to blow up in her face as her siblings take advantage of her and her husband time and time again.

Once Channa passes away, she leaves everything to her youngest son and completely cuts Nathan out leaving him penniless and even without their home. We are then taken into the legal battles between the siblings as Nathan seems to have accepted that he has nothing and moves on with another woman.

The siblings, however, have not moved on. Instead they enter into a bitter legal battle for what each one feels they deserve. I could totally sympathize with the author and feel every pain she was going through. Of course this is a totally one-sided look into the family dynamics and it would be interesting to hear everyone’s take on the situation.

I was captivated by this book and couldn’t put it down. I would have liked to read more about the experiences Channa and Nathan went through during the Holocaust and a little less of the legal battles the siblings were going through.

This is a captivating book which tugs at your heartstrings and makes you shake your head at the horrible things people do to each other. It is well written and readers can tell this was written from the author’s heart and must have been quite difficult to write.


  1. Sounds like a thought-provoking read that would be perfect for my in person book club to read.

  2. Sounds like something everyone should read, but it does sound so sad

  3. Kathleen, I'd love to have your book club read my book. Please contact me, Jeannette Katzir at

  4. Yvonne, Thank you for the lovely review. I am glad my book touched you!


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