Mommy, What’s that Number on Your Arm?
Holocaust survivor Gloria Hollander Lyon is a courageous hero who boldly stared tragedy in the face and, with incredible determination, pushed forward despite immeasurable suffering. In her captivating memoir, Lyon tells of her pleasant childhood in a rural Czechoslovakian town, her dreadful experiences in seven concentration camps, her admirable rescue by the Swedish Red Cross, the devoted Swedish family who supported her through the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust, and her immigration to the United States. Mommy, What’s that Number on Your Arm? is an astounding and important read.
From the start, Lyon’s writing sparkles with vivid descriptions; her childhood memories are sweet, curious, and are a true highlight of her memoir. With evocative detail, Lyon does not shy away from the graphic horrors of the concentration camps. Her eloquent writing produces a host of powerful feelings and images–a cacophony of terror. Lyon deserves much praise for portraying these reminiscences with thoughtful honesty.
Mommy, What’s that Number on Your Arm? continues to follow Lyon’s life many years after the Nazis’ rule. As unique as it is to receive a close look at the long recovery of a Holocaust survivor, the second half of Lyon’s memoir is less enthralling than the first. The story eventually picks back up during her touching reunion with her family in Lvov, but, once again, following this short reunion, the memoir slows as Lyon tells her story of becoming a witness of the Holocaust through speeches and documentaries. The first half of her memoir, however, is undeniably powerful. Lyon is a true inspiration; her memoir will resonate with anyone who rejoices in the promise of hope.
San Francisco Book Review/Audible Authors interviews Gloria about her story. Listen HERE.
Gloria Hollander Lyon