Unpacking My Grandparents’ Books
It is one of life’s ironies that when we are young, and keen to establish our own identity and place in the world, we have little interest in the experiences of older generations; by the time we come to find their stories fascinating, it is often too late. I remember my paternal grandparents as a rather severe elderly couple who, on their annual visits from Frankfurt, seemed to cast a pall of gloom over the household. After my parents’ divorce we lost contact, so I had little idea of who they really were or what they had experienced in the course of their eventful lives. Then, a few years ago, I inherited a small collection of books that had belonged to them. Along with some old photo albums and other family mementos, they revealed a rich inner life.