Sunday, July 20, 2008
Sunday Salon Far Above Rubies, July 20th
Far Above Rubies by Cynthia Polansky is a brilliantly written historical fiction memoir. Polansky's book is a triumphant tribute to Sofie Mecklenberg Rijnfeld Davidson, a selfless woman with extraordinary energy and will. The novel is based on the woman known to her niece as Tante Soof. She was a born a Polish Jew and married a man with six wonderful girls. Although not Sofie's biological children, she became their mother and loved the girls as if she had given birth to them. She loved them so much, that when only the girls were summoned to report for resettlement, Sofie decided she could not let them face their fate alone. She willingly accepted deportation. When the SS saw that Sophie had not been called, she had to plead with him to let her stay. Little did she know that the prescient SS guard couldn’t care less. The horrors of the concentration camp told through the eyes of Sophie are real. She was a person with uncommon bravery who could face up to the SS and with faith survived the despicable crimes and atrocities acted out at Auschwitz. At times she jeopardized her own life, giving up meager portions of rations to help her daughters and other prisoners. Tante Soof lived life with dignity. She complained less and saw the silver lining more. She had an unmatched ability to inspire hope in hundreds who would not live another day. Few people can say they have given more to help other people at the risk of loosing their life than Sofie.
“A woman of valor who can find? For her price is far above rubies.” Polansky quotes this verse from Proverbs and she has written a sincere story from her heart of honor to a very precious person. I couldn’t put this book down as I read in amazement and wonder at what this exceptional woman’s life was like. Plan on a late night reading, I highly recommend it.