Jewish Book: Saving Myself, a Los Angeles Childhood
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Delightful, Positive Approach
Monday, 19 September 2011 14:21

Rebecca H. Tallman "quilt lady"

I met Jeanne at a conference earlier this year and found her to be delightfully positive, as well as wise beyond her words and years. She is very good at portraying the conflicting details of a growing child's life. We all had disappointments and frustrations, but we can't all tell our stories in such a compelling manner. Jeanne has been able to describe childhood situations accurately, come to logical conclusions about their impact on her adult life and draw upon her experiences to enlighten others. What a special book! I ordered five copies and am not sure that will actually be enough!

Eric en Amerique Review
Monday, 01 August 2011 20:29

Saving Myself: A Los Angeles Childhood is a lovely, sad, funny, sensual, poetic, heart-breaking, but hopeful coming home memoir! I read the book in one sitting and will return to it form time to time to remember certain passages. Somehow, experiencing the family of Jeanne Simonoff brings me, the reader, home as well. Though about a specific life, it is also universal. As a pediatrician who often expresses the need for play and a haven environment for children at home and school, I see that this story-from the child perspective-will be an important reading for our schools. Jeanne Siminoff has captured the brilliant, creative simplicity of childhood. It is exhilarating to experience vicariously the miracle of finding wholeness. I rise with Ms Simonnoff to be blessed. I will cherish this in my life.  July 31, 2011

Saving Myself
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 16:35

By L B D

Because I come from the same area as the author I was interested in seeing things we had in common in our upbringing in East Los Angeles. This book was very poetic, lyrical and well written from a child's perspective. It took me back to my own childhood. It made me see inside my own mirror that in some ways, I too had saved myself. I recommend this book to everyone. I have attempted to write a memoir because I wished to recall my memories, the author did that wonderfully well, in fact she climbed in and relived it to 'Save Herself.' I love the ending as she took her place in the community in which she felt she belonged. I plan to re-read the book. It was a gift.

To All my Jewish Mothers
Monday, 14 March 2011 11:13

By Adrian Leeds of

Kathleen Spivack wrote of Jeanne Simonoff's latest work, "Saving Myself," that her "beautifully written memoir explores what it means to be human, to overcome hardship and loss, and to come into one's own. It's full of life, and we are with her all the way. The book is a complete delight; poignant, charming, brimming over with observation, vitality, and the will to survive." A regular visitor to Paris, Jeanne's book is dedicated "to all my mothers" -- but perhaps she should have said instead, "to all my Jewish mothers." Some of us can seriously relate...some of hers (mothers) even have the same names as some of mine!

Ohhhh, Too short
Thursday, 03 March 2011 12:35

By Sonia Melo, Paris, France  

I finished your book in Toronto, in no time... and had a feeling of "Ohhhh! Too short!", like a good movie you don't want to see end.

I would have been little Jeanne's friend in a heartbeat
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 19:54
By Heather Gallegos-Rex
"Saving Myself: A Los Angeles Childhood" was just lovely: sweet, sad, funny. I could have/would have been little Jeanne's friend in a heartbeat and loved her dearly - tea parties every day!
A Jewel of a Book
Wednesday, 09 February 2011 12:20

By D. Colby Gardner

This memoir is short and sweet, and I wanted to slow down and savor the poetry in the prose. The author catches the voice of the child so clearly, I felt nostalgic for my own childhood even as I got so much fresh insight into what it was like to be a Jewish child in the 40s. The book captures the joys and the pain of every life in a way that's a delight to read. This little girl touched me with her sensitivity, her gentle sense of humor, and her innocence in facing discrimination and loss. I rooted for her all the way to the book's moving, triumphant ending. I loved this jewel of a book!

Monday, 10 January 2011 14:48

Author: Zukovsky

This is a brilliant portrayal of 'the artist as a young woman' growing up in Los Angeles during the post war era.

Simonoff is able to speak through the voice of the infant, child and young woman in such a way that one can actually see the filtered light, smell the trees and hear the different voices speaking from the pages of her book.

Bit by bit, she has lost all she ever loved and wanted. Her fierce devotion of family and friends  brings her to a culmination resulting in love and redemption.

The Rhythms of Grief
Sunday, 02 January 2011 11:11
By Nandini Bhattacharya

I love Simonoff's memoir, especially, the way she describes grieving and sleeping as near-simultaneous things that the mourning family does together at the beginning of the book, almost like sleepwalking through intolerable, incomprehensible grief. It really persuades me that grief has a certain rhythm akin to sleep, where we seek shelter from the storms that ravage our souls. The wild animal gnawing at the heart will be soothed by the rhythms of this storytelling.

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