I have put down Renia’s Diary, a Holocaust diary, having read to page 220. I read to page 167 yesterday. I am somewhat embarrassed: I pride myself on being able to read 100 pages a day, 50 pages in the morning and 50 pages in the evening. However, I shall finish it tomorrow (the diary portion itself is a mere 273 pages itself, though the Afterwards is contained in pages 277-289 and the Notes are held in pages 293-310). I am sure of it. This is despite the fact that my reading of Renia’s Diary and The Napoleonic Wars is being interrupted by a book my cantor is having us read for a book talk: This is Real and You are Completely Unprepared. This last book is one I still don’t have–a bad thing since tomorrow is our first book talk.
As for Renia… since I talked to you last. Renia and Zygu are very much in love, but a reader has to be aware of the signs that their world is shrinking around them. For Renia this is only because she cannot always see Zygu as often as she would like to, but the why occurs to adult readers aware of her ultimate fate. The reader does wonder how she is going to avoid pregnancy; she has–I believe–had sex with Zygu though she is trying heroically to avoid his advances without giving up on him as a boyfriend. They do intend to get married, and given what I know, I think they would have married if she had lived in real life. Her emotions–and I assume his–were very strong.
Despite being moved by Renia’s story, I have a confession to make: I have never had a Zygu. There never was that romantic obsession with a man who reciprocated in my life… There is a man in my life at the moment, but I fear he may never really understand my feelings for him. No, all too often, unrequited love is what I have… By contrast, I want to believe that Renia and Zygu were right for each other, and that their love would have lasted if they had married. Of course, first love always burns to last in the mind of the person who feels it… Yet Zygu kept Renia’s Diary and it was a relic that the Smithsonian says Zygu’s post-Holocaust wife was jealous of.