Book Review: Digging: Lifting the Memorable from Within the Unthinkable by Susan Rostan

January 13, 2014

Digging: Lifting the Memorable from Within the Unthinkable by Susan Rostan is a non-fiction history of the author’s family. Ms Rostan’s research into her husband’s family is the basis of this book.

  • 204 pages
  • Publisher: Rosalie Ink Publications
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0971186987

The author is giving away one copy of this book to two (2) winners –to enter fill out the Raf­fle­copt­ter form at the end of the post.

Layout 1My rat­ing for Digging 4

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Digging: Lifting the Memorable from Within the Unthinkable by Susan Rostan is one of those books that, one day, I’d like to put together. The author did research into her husband’s family and found some astounding stories of survival and the human spirit.

I normally dislike to review such books.

These are very personal works which are priceless to the authors and their families – but usually aren’t very good unless you know the persons involved or have a personal interest. However, many of these books are not very well written or edited, mostly a collection of stories grandma told the kids at bedtime and didn’t want to get lost. This is all well and good and I wish my grandparents have written some sort of family history for my family and me.

But who am I to pass judgment on such works?

However, Digging was a fine book, interesting and with multiple angles. Not only is it a fascinating glimpse into Poland during World War II and an amazing survival story but also struggle the Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial and museum, bureaucracy to include her uncle’s savior, Stanislaw Drabich, as a Righteous Gentile.

The book is an easy read on a difficult subject, which the author does a wonderful job describing. Ms. Rostan also touches on a very important subject, the fact that Holocaust survivors are reluctant to share their horrific experiences with future generations to learn from and/or remember. That is a travesty which their heirs of all ages (from Mrs. Rostan to Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation) are working hard to rectify.

The one thing I didn’t care for was that the author tried to capture her uncle’s style of talking which, for me, didn’t work. However, I do see how important it is from a familial perspective and important to her book and its intended audience.

Ms. Rostan wrote a good book and a wonderful story taking the reader along for the ride. I found the story of battling the bureaucracy very fascinating and am glad she included it, giving the book another dimension alongside the fascinating family history.


An aging uncle is the only surviving link to his family’s history — the stories of tragic loss and heroic survival that he has refused to share. With an emerging feeling of responsibility to share his story with his family, for the sake of his sister’s namesake and future generations, he begins a painful journey into memories of his childhood in the Warsaw Ghetto and his subsequent survival in Nazi occupied Poland. As his experiences unfold, he haltingly recalls how he manages to escape the Ghetto and survive thanks to his father’s friend – a Polish patriot who risks his own life to help the uncle, the uncle’s sister, and countless friends hide outside the Ghetto. Out of his torturous excavation of a past long suppressed, the uncle reveals not only the story of a family devastated by the Holocaust, but also a family’s empowering responsibility to honor and renew his sister’s legacy of hope, caring, and laughter.

Buy this book inpaperor inelec­tronic format*

More Rec­om­mended World War II books onMan of la BookStore


  • Give­away ends: January 20, 2014

  • US Ship­ping Addresses Only

  • No PO Boxes

  • Win­ners will have 24 hours to write back with their address, oth­er­wise an alter­nate win­ner will be picked

Congratulations: lomazowr@, [name as email]

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer:I got this book for free.
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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One Comment

  • LisaJanuary 19, 2014 at 11:24 am

    I always find it hard to read books that try to write in dialect or specific speech patterns, but for this author’s purpose, I can see where she would like to have it. Of course, the hard part is reading about the horrors of the Holocaust. But it is important to get these stories written down as fewer and fewer of the survivors are left – there are far too many people who are trying to say that it never happened.

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