When Alison Pick was a teenager, she discovered that her father’s side of the family from the Czech Republic were Jewish and hid their religion when they moved to Canada. In her thirties, she is now a writer and engaged to be married, but the iron grip of depression leaves her on most days lost and full of despair. During that time, Alison’s curiosity about her father’s secret Jewish heritage heightens and she starts to be drawn towards Judaism. She decides to convert and begins a personal journey that will see her learn about her father’s family history and befriend many members of the Jewish community to better understand the religion and her fierce desire to join.
Alison Pick describes her experience of struggling with depression and trying to convert with such fragile intensity, I couldn’t help but be profoundly moved by her desperation and hope, and respect how her belief in what she was doing never wavers. The result of her quest is not only an emotional and spiritual transformation, but an exhilarating inner peace.
As part of her obsession, Alison fervently researches the history of her Czech relatives and shares stories about family members who were in concentration camps or who had escaped capture by the Nazis. Some of the details of what happened to them were so disturbing, I was deeply saddened and don’t think I will ever get their stories out of my head.
Between Gods is a very satisfying memoir about one woman’s path to enlightenment, how deep blood lines run and how faith can truly and overwhelmingly be felt. Alison’s story is intimate and heartfelt, I really enjoyed reading this book.