“… the author has used the power of multiple sources of words to conjure the immediacy of a vanished world.” Excellent review by ANZ Litlovers
“Wonderful book; deeply researched, scholarly, heartfelt and well written.”
—Emeritus Professor Roger Fay
“I loved your book. It really is a work of art. I found it heartbreaking but also filled with so much love and honour. You are a gifted writer. The world is richer for your book.”
Listen to an in-depth interview with Sara Vidal on the background and process of writing the book here
Encompassing the inspirational story of Bella and Chaim, the author’s parents, with the intergenerational trauma of being a child of survivors, this memoir is of love, loss and gratitude; indeed a testament to the human spirit as well as a call to action.
Bella and Chaim met and fell in love in the Warsaw Ghetto where they witnessed the destruction of a way of life; sole survivors of both their families, they endured entombment for eighteen months before rescue, liberation, and immigration to begin anew in Australia.
Memory, historical records, fragments of Melbourne in the 1950s, and the honouring of the murdered and the righteous, mingle with real-time musings on the light, dark, and potential of being alive; ever present are the dilemma’s facing us today.
“Many migrant stories … have been a recording of the atrocities during the war. 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
‘I found the intimate history of Bella and Chaim engrossing, their strength to survive during the Holocaust very moving and the historical details very informative … Sara has captured a story of life, of unspeakable horror and of amazing survival.’ —Daniel Rubenstein
‘Just finished Sara Vidal‘s Bella and Chaim. I thought I knew something of the Holocaust. I didn’t…. what an intrinsic and fascinating and terribly sad but ultimately beautiful dedication to family to faith and to life. So thoroughly researched too. A life’s work for sure and a great read.
Congrats’ —Stella Kinsella July 2018
Launch speech by Richard Freadman.
“I read the book cover to cover and was very moved by it. It is simply unbelievable what they had to go through. and yet survived. I have shared the book with others. rule. This book also confronts the reality of evil and this is painful — it is now so troubling in today’s world to see so many democracies leaning toward dictatorship. … Sara has included the Scarboro Missions Multifaith Golden Rule Poster in her book – she also a lot to teach all of us about what it means to “Honour thy father and thy mother”. –Paul McKenna
“It is an extraordinary book, and an important one. But more than that, it is filled with the horrors of what happened, so humanly described so the reader can’t duck or avoid anything, but with such wonderful spirit of love and hope. For the first time, I really saw and felt the enormity of the unexplainable sort of explained! I was very moved.” –Naomi Martin