Author sensitively chronicles the horrors of war and its aftermath

Rachel Hall Photo provided When you are forced to flee by the horrors of war, what must you leave behind? What can’t you leave behind? These questions, addressed so lyrically and sensitively by Rachel Hall in her new collection of stories, "Heirlooms," are as relevant to the refugees of today as they were to her own family, who fled from France during World War II. Hall’s family escaped from France late in the war. Her grandmother was Jewish, her grandfather was not, but in a land filled with occupiers and collaborators, they were not safe and so her grandfather called upon a friend who had made a success of himself in America to sponsor her grandparents and her mother. They were rescued and started a new life in America. It wasn’t easy in any way. Like many refugees, they had very little. Farmers in France, they had to start from scratch in America. But the little family of three did succeed, and their granddaughter has chosen to tell their story in language she purposely made clear and beautiful to contrast with the horror of the time of which she writes. Hall’s real grandmother, whom she never knew, died when […]

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