Becoming Alice by first-time author Alice Rene is a powerful heart-wrenching memoir about the triumph over adversity, identity crisis, and the devastating effects of intolerance on her Jewish family during World War II.
Becoming Alice opens with a child’s first-hand account of the arrival of the Nazi war machine in Vienna in 1938. Six-year old Ilse Fell chronicles her family’s harrowing escape of Nazi persecution — a suspenseful adventure that takes them through Riga, Latvia, Russia, Japan, and finally to America, where a whole new set of struggles awaits the new immigrants.
What follows is a fascinating and authentic coming-of-age story in which Ilse must find her own identity in the midst of an overbearing father and a society she and her family never quite fit into.
As a writer, Alice Rene does an amazing job of balancing heartbreak and humor, tragedy and triumph in what ultimately is a positive and hopeful story of strength and perseverance that you don’t want to miss.
I met up with author Alice Rene recently and I had a few question for her:
Q. For many years you didn’t share your story with family and friends. What was it that finally made want to tell it? Was it really because of your grandson’s school assignment? Do you think that you might’ve told your story on your own eventually?