Mani Feniger’s new memoir/biography, “The Woman in the Photograph,” is a compelling narrative set in motion by an unexpected meeting with history. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, the door to her mother’s vanished past sprang open and what Mani discovered irrevocably changed her life. Her surprising, beautifully written memoir reads like a detective story. It will stir your curiosity and make you wonder about the man or woman in your own photographs and how your life has been influenced by events you know little about.
…an eloquent account of a daughter’s transformative journey into the heart of her mother’s hidden life. (Elizabeth Rosner, Speed of Light)
…Mani’s evocative book unfolds like a mystery. The story has a heartbeat… (Sue Bender, Plain and Simple)
Title: The Woman in the Photograph
Author: Mani Feniger
Genre: Creative Nonfiction / Memoir / Biography
Publisher: Keystroke Books
Release Date: 2012
I always knew she loved me, but I didn’t need to accept everything she gave me, like her fears that people would let you down when you needed them, or the conviction that danger lurked behind every unguarded moment. ~ Mani Feniger,
If you choose to read The Woman in the Photograph by Mani Feniger, be certain a box of tissues sits close by as they’ll be needed. My tears came for mixed reasons–sadness and joy–as Feniger searches for a story that will explain the silences in her childhood and young adulthood as well as a story capable of healing deep wounds and scars.
It did not matter that the Holocaust impacted the lives of six million Jews, an underlying theme in Feniger’s book, for even those able to escape like the author’s parents and an aunt and uncle were stripped of their personal property and saddest of all their identities. As a result, their children received the ironic gift of fear and often denial. Years of research, digging through photos, and much more would be needed to establish a sense of trust in others.
Cleverly crafted by Feniger, The Woman in the Photograph, is a true story and yet reads as a novel would read. Filled with suspense and tension, the reader at times feels the sense of a mystery or thriller. Yet, Feniger’s prose is so poetic as to draw the reader into a sense of passion and fervor.
Most touching to this reader was Feniger’s commitment to stop the filtration of these negative emotions to the next generation. In order to do this, she must find forgiveness within her heart for the atrocities committed not only to her family but also unknown millions.
Although this book starts somewhat slowly, I found myself being quickly drawn into reader-character relationships I had not expected. I enjoy reading about the history of World War II and despite its horrors, I find reading about those who survived the Holocaust and even those who did not to be a source of great faith in the generations gone before us. I highly recommend this book to any reader who is a history buff and would enjoy an up close read of a true story of a woman searching for the truth.
Meet Mani Feniger:
Mani Feniger is an author, teacher and clinical hypnotherapist living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her 1997 self-help book “Journey from Anxiety to Freedom” has given thousands of people the tools to reclaim their lives.
Her powerful new book, The Woman in the Photograph, winner of the 2013 BEST MEMOIR award, is a compelling narrative set in motion by an unexpected meeting with history. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, the door to her mother’s vanished past sprang open and what she discovered irrevocably changed her life. Her surprising, beautifully written memoir reads like a detective story. It will stir your curiosity and make you wonder how your life has been influenced by events you know little about.