Jewish Book: Saving Myself, a Los Angeles Childhood
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A Stunning Little Book
Sunday, 07 November 2010 17:00

By Carol Lombardi

I followed my routine with a new book - I opened it to a random page and read a few paragraphs, then to another random page, etc. Then I carried it around and kept it next to me wherever I sat like a little bible or remembrance of something. After a couple of days, I started at the beginning and read it. I was stunned. It only covered your early childhood, not what I expected. And it was so complete and contained within that span. It was wonderful, and almost sad, and almost scary, but your little girl kept it from falling off the cliff. I was stunned because it was a stunning little book.

Besides being a remarkable account, so evocative of a child's perception of her world, it just touched me over and over with slices of life that belonged to me too, as a young girl in northern Los Angeles. I caught pollywogs in the Arroyo Seco, I was so taken up with the Yang Na indian displays at the Southwest Museum, that my brother and I built a wickiup behind our house. And while I have no relatives of any great violinist, I did see Nathan Milstein at the L.A. Philharmonic Auditorium.

Well, I'll be back to your book again, as the third part of my book reading routine is to read it again, slowly, noticing each word, and gaining a fuller understanding of the experience the story presents.