Today’s reading is from the chapter titled, Catherine’s Brestovac by the critically acclaimed author, Catherine Kapphahn. I have to admit that I was afraid to approach the reading at first, because of all the Croatian words, but her story is so poetically beautiful that it seemed to just carry me along.
American-born Catherine knows little of her Croatian mother's early life. When Marijana dies of ovarian cancer, twenty-two-year-old Catherine finds herself cut off from the past she never really knew. As Catherine searches for clues to her mother’s elusive history, she discovers that Marijana was orphaned during WWII, nearly died as a teenager, and escaped from Communist Yugoslavia to Rome, and then South America. Through travel and memory, history and imagination, Catherine resurrects the relatives she's never known. Traversing time and place, this lyrical narrative explores the collective memory between mothers and daughters, and what it means to find wholeness. It is a story where a daughter gives voice to her immigrant mother’s unspoken history, and in the process, heals them both.
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