Drifting in and out of consciousness, I imagined that my mother was here. She wrapped her arms around me and kept me warm. She whispered in my ear : Be a mensch, Minusia. For the first time I realized what that really meant. As long as you put someone else’s welfare in front of your own, it meant you had someone else to live for. Once that was gone, what was the point? – Jodi Picoult, The StoryTeller

I read one work of fiction this summer on vacation, and boy was it a doozie. I tried to take a break from my regular literary regiment to read some lighter fare, but The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult turned out to be an intense, nightmarish ride that I could not put down.

Centered around the Jewish Holocaust of World War II, The Storyteller portrays the multi-generational effects of the Holocaust. Picoult details the reality of prisoners in Auschwitz through the eyes of one eighteen year old girl, Minusia.

At the very beginning of Nazi occupation, Minusia’s mother gives her one life-saving piece of advice:

“Be a mensch.”
The Yiddish word “mensch” means a person of “high integrity and honor.”

To read the rest of this post, join me over at the new Adalmar Life International (formerly Bipolar Outloud) . . .