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Bella and Chaim
The Story of Beauty and Life
Author: Sara Rena Vidal RRP A$9.99
Publisher: Hybrid Publishers Pub Date: 2017-09-01
BIC Category: Memoirs ISBN: 9781925281453
BISAC Category1: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs
BISAC Category2: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Cultural Heritage


This memoir, Bella and Chaim, is a flowing collage which embraces and mingles memory, historical record, fragments of the 1950s, real-time journal entries and musings on the light, dark, and potential, of being alive. The whole is a testament to the human spirit.
For eighteen months from late 1943, Vidal's parents lay in a small hole in the ground under a wood-sawing machine in the backyard workshop of a retired Polish policeman in a suburb of occupied Warsaw. In claustrophobic dark, they waited while outside a world war raged. Their story is inspirational; it begins with life in Warsaw in loving families, transcends the catastrophic circumstances in which they meet, fall in love, are witness to the destruction of a way of life and the murder of their entire families, endure entombment, and concludes with liberation, and immigration to make a new life.
Born in a refugee camp in late 1945, Sara Vidal came to Melbourne early in 1949, graduated BARCH Melbourne University (1968) and joined the Victorian Public Service (1979-93). She has worked as an architect, human resources consultant, and consultant for not-for-profit organisations. She lives in Williamstown, Victoria, helps care for her 93-year-old mother, enjoys and helps out with four grandchildren, and continues to research and write.
"Many migrant stories have recorded atrocities during WWII. But to link the deep past with the recent past and the present, and to find themes that connect them all, that is fabulous." - Liliane Grace

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