June 22 was Regina of Regina’s Closet’s birthday.
This luminous memoir, written by Diana Raab is an account of a a granddaughter finding her grandmother’s secret journal and from it reconstructing her glamorous “Grandma’s” life.
Regina’s Closet begins like Camus L’Etranger (The Stranger) with a riveting sentence.
Instead of “Mother died today” the reader opens to “I was ten years old the morning I found my grandmother dead.”
The book flap of this extraordinary book summarizes everything perfectly.
“When glamorous Regina inexplicably ends her own life, her ten-year old grand-daughter, Diana is devastated by the loss, and haunted by questions she wishes she could have asked her grandmother. Diana’s discovery of Regina’s secret journal three decades later gives her a window into the unknown events of Regina’s tumultuous life. Diana looks to the journal for answers, trying to reconnect with her beloved grandmother.
Through Regina’s words, Diana learns of the privations of World War I, the heartbreak of being orphaned, and the pandemonium of events during her immigration from Poland to Vienna to Paris and finally to the United States.
Diana draws strength from her grandmother’s example when she receives some of her own shattering news. To share her personal story, Diana must first tell Regina’s. The end result is a unique braided narrative, with excerpts of Regina’s diary interwoven with Diana’s own life experiences, which creates a touching portrait of a relationship between a granddaughter and her grandmother.”
Leaving us with this hypothetical book review always in our heart.
June 22, 2015 Happy Birthday Regina! We so enjoyed the amazing story of your life
detailed in your granddaughter’s memoir Regina’s Closet.
Years after her sudden death, I found my grandmother alive in the pages of her journal.
Born the same year as Anaïs Nin, we contemplate what these two amazing women would have said to each other had they met in their lifetime. And Diana Raab,who also wrote Dear Anaïs a tribute to the power of diaries seems a granddaughter both would have been proud of.
Although slim, this stunning award-winning volume deserves a spot on your bookshelf.
Available from Amazon in Kindle and Hardcover versions.