I picked up a book through my online library called The Choice: Embrace the Possible by Edith Eva Eger. After if got the book I was a little disappointed. I thought it was supposed to be a memoir but the more I looked at it, the book seemed more like a self-help book. Ugh. I wasn’t up for that. The book had been on my waitlist for so long so I decided rather than return it, I’d just listen to one chapter…I did and that led to another and another.
I ended up very much enjoying the book. I think the author really has something to say that will resonant with many. The story is a split between what happened to the author while she was in a concentration camp as a teen and how that mapped her life and what she learned because of it. So many of the things she learned, many of us can apply to our own everyday lives. I think it was a very good book.
Here is what Amazon had to say:
“A powerful, moving memoir – and a practical guide to healing – written by Dr. Edith Eva Eger, an eminent psychologist whose own experiences as a Holocaust survivor help her treat patients and allow them to escape the prisons of their own minds.
Edith Eger was 16 years old when the Nazis came to her hometown in Hungary and took her Jewish family to an interment center and then to Auschwitz. Her parents were sent to the gas chamber by Joseph Mengele soon after they arrived at the camp. Hours later Mengele demanded that Edie dance a waltz to “The Blue Danube” and rewarded her with a loaf of bread that she shared with her fellow prisoners. These women later helped save Edie’s life. Edie and her sister survived Auschwitz, were transferred to the Mauthausen and Gunskirchen camps in Austria and managed to live until the American troops liberated the camps in 1945 and found Edie in a pile of dying bodies.
One of the few living Holocaust survivors to remember the horrors of the camps, Edie has chosen to forgive her captors and find joy in her life every day. Years after she was liberated from the concentration camps, Edie went back to college to study psychology. She combines her clinical knowledge and her own experiences with trauma to help others who have experienced painful events large and small. Dr. Eger has counseled veterans suffering from PTSD, women who were abused, and many others who learned that they, too, can choose to forgive, find resilience, and move forward. She lectures frequently on the power of love and healing.
The Choice weaves Eger’s personal story with case-studies from her work as a psychologist. Her patients and their stories illustrate different phases of healing and show how people can choose to escape the prisons they construct in their minds and find freedom, regardless of circumstance. Eger’s story is an inspiration for everyone. And her message is powerful and important: “Your pain matters and is worth healing: You can choose to be joyful and free.” She is 89 years old and still dancing.”
Amazon readers gave the book 4.8 stars…that’s saying a lot. So me, I think I am going to agree. It turned out to be a really good book and I’m so glad I gave it a chance…remember, I almost didn’t.
You can find the book HERE on Amazon.
5 thoughts on “What I’m Reading: The Choice”
Sounds like a good read – and who better to tell the story of the Holocaust than one who survived and overcame her experiences…
This memoir is very like the book “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Victor Frankl. Similar circumstances, Jewish prisoner in German concentration camp, who learned to survive and maintain his mental health. Went on to become a psychologist and developed his own psychotherapy approach. There has been criticism of both him and his methods in recent years, but the first section of the book is very moving and thought provoking.
That’s one I will gladly read. Not because of the horrors she went through but because of how she has lived since. Thank you for recommending the book.
I met the author 20+ years ago when she spoke at a seminar. She was inspiring and very upbeat.
I read The Choice with my book club. We loved it. We’ve read several books about the work women did during WWII and continue to marvel at their strength, bravery and determination.