In The Listener, a daughter receives a troubling gift: her mother’s stories of surviving World War II in Poland. During the Holocaust, Irene Oore’s mother escaped the death camps by concealing her Jewish identity. Those years found her constantly on the run and on the verge of starvation, living a harrowing and peripatetic existence as she struggled to keep herself and her family alive.
Throughout the memoir, Oore reveals a certain ambivalence towards the gift bestowed upon her. The stories of fear, love, and constant hunger traumatised her as a child. Now, she shares these same stories with her own children, to keep the history alive.