Becoming Alice: A Memoir
February 28, 2007
Six-year-old IIse watches Nazi soldiers march down her street in Vienna. She does not understand the threat to her Jewish family nor the harrowing escape that follows which will bring her to Riga, Latvia, through Russia and Japan, over the Pacific Ocean, and finally end in Portland, Oregon. Although the family is safe at last, author Alice Rene tells us in this book about the emotional impact of Nazi tyranny on a young child, just how it effected her personally.
Ilse is ashamed of herself for being different and becomes anxious and withdrawn. The antics of an outrageous aunt and uncle, though comical, only add to her humiliation. Changing her name to Alice does not alter her feelings of isolation. She realizes that she must somehow make peace with her history and identity. With both pathos and humor, Becoming Alice showcases Alice’s triumph over adversity, identity crisis and the sometimes debilitating power of family ties.
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