Once We Were Home: Author Event with Jennifer Rosner


Lillian Wonderly, Entertainment Editor

Join the Greenberg Center, for a special afternoon with Jennifer Rosner to celebrate her new book, Once We Were Home, on March 18 from 1-3 PM. This event is sponsored by the Avon Free Public Library and co-sponsored by the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies, the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford, the Mandell JCC, and the Farmington Valley Jewish Congregation. Click the zoom registration link to attend: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwocOmpqjsoHdDUHQY2AEqgTkZPOuuIfktC

Jennifer Rosner lives in western Massachusetts with her family. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Massachusetts Review, The Forward, Good Housekeeping, and elsewhere. She is also the author of the following novels: The Yellow Bird Sings, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award; the memoir If A Tree Falls: A Family’s Quest to Hear and Be Heard, about raising her deaf daughters in a hearing, speaking world; and a children’s book, The Mitten String, which is a Sydney Taylor Book Award Notable.

Here is a synopsis of Once We Were Home: Ana will never forget her mother’s face when she and her baby brother, Oskar, were sent out of their Polish ghetto and into the arms of a Christian friend. For Oskar, though, their new family is the only one he remembers. When a woman from a Jewish reclamation organization seizes them, believing she has their best interest at heart, Ana sees an opportunity to reconnect with her roots, while Oskar sees only the loss of the home he loves. Roger grows up in a monastery in France, inventing stories and trading riddles with his best friend in a life of quiet concealment. When a relative seeks to retrieve him, the Church steals him across the Pyrenees before relinquishing him to family in Jerusalem. Renata, a postgraduate student in archaeology, has spent her life unearthing secrets from the past – except for her own. After her mother’s death, Renata’s grief is entwined with all the questions her mother left unanswered, including why they fled Germany so quickly when Renata was a little girl.

Two decades later, they are each building lives for themselves, trying to move on from the trauma and loss that haunts them. But as their stories converge in Israel, in unexpected ways, they must each ask where and to whom they truly belong.