Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 23 of a new online serial novel, Beneath the Surface, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every Thursday or Friday. Click here for previous chapters.
Copyright © 2011 by Israel Bookshop Publication
Menuchi’s perspective, continued:
“I also have good news,” Shragi said after we finished sharing our excitement about Chasya Ehrentreau’s announcement. “Remember I told you about Dan, my uncle fromBelgium?”
“In the end, plans have changed. He’s not going to marry the gentile girl!”
“Baruch Hashem! Did you meet your mother at home?”
“No, she was at work. Simi told me everything. Did I tell you at the time that the girl’s grandmother helped raise my Savta Weingarten after the war?”
“You mentioned something like that.”
“So now my grandmother sent a fax of something she got a few months ago. They are the memoirs of that girl’s grandmother from after the war. Simi told me that the description of my grandmother as a little girl is very touching.” He took a spoonful of soup (without zucchini).
“Oh, Simi read it already?”
“No, it’s in English. But my mother sat until one in the morning and read it from beginning to end, and I guess she told Simi the gist of it.”
“What a shame it’s in English. If it was in Flemish you would also be able to read it.”
“I can barely speak Flemish. I don’t remember much of the language from when I was little, and I certainly can’t read it. I speak to my grandmother mostly in Yiddish,” Shragi said. “Besides, it couldn’t be in Flemish. The woman was British.”
“And her granddaughter?” My soup was finally cool enough for me to begin eating it.
“Well, when everyone finishes reading these memoirs, I want to be next on line. It sounds fascinating.”
“I think you’ll be able to get it very soon, because it won’t take my father—if he’s even interested in it—more than ten minutes to read it, and Simi never liked reading in English. She hates the language.”
A small bird suddenly landed on our windowsill. Her feathers were stuck together wetly and she looked cold. Shragi spooned out a small piece of carrot from his plate and cautiously approached the window. The bird fled. Keep Reading…