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The Golden Willow
Author: Harry Bernstein
The golden willow was the first tree we had planted when we came here to live, and Ruby and I had good reason for doing that. Only it was a secret that we kept to ourselves.” Harry Bernstein started chronicling his life at the age of ninety-four, after the death of his beloved wife, Ruby. In his first book, The Invisible Wall, he told a haunting story of forbidden love in World War Iera England. Then Bernstein wrote The Dream, the touching tale of his family’s immigrant experience in Depression-era Chicago and New York. Now Bernstein completes the saga with The Golden Willow, a heart-lifting memoir of his life with Ruby, a romance that lasted nearly seventy years. They met at a dance at New York’s legendary Webster Hall, fell instantly and madly in love, and embarked on a rich and rewarding life together. From their first tiny rented room on the Upper West Side to their years in Greenwich Village, immersed in the art scene, surrounded by dancers, musicians, and writers, to their life in the newly burgeoning suburbs, Harry and Ruby pursued the American dream with gusto, much as Harry’s late mother would have wanted. Together, through a depression, a world war, and the McCarthy era, through job losses and race riots and the joyous births of their two children, Harry and Ruby weathered much and shared an incredible love. But then the inevitable happened. One of them had to go first. When Ruby was ninety-one, she contracted leukemia and died. Alone for the first time in his life, Harry felt the loss acutely and terribly, and for a long while, despite continued good health, he was uncertain about whether he could go on without Ruby. It was then that he turned to the past for solaceand ended up fulfilling a lifelong dream of becoming a published author. Delightful and hopeful, tender and moving, The Golden Willow is Harry’s tribute to his beloved Ruby, to their long, happy life together, to the impact her parting had on his heart and his soul, and to the surprises and unexpected pleasures that continue to await him.
"Mike Kellogg is a solid fit to portray Harry Bernstein's memorable tribute to Ruby, his beloved wife of 70 years. The book is also the unexpected realization of Bernstein's lifelong dream of writing—which did not begin until his wife’s death from leukemia at age 92. In a warm and melodious baritone, Kellogg depicts cherished memories that begin with the couple’s marriage in 1935. In particular, Kellogg memorably portrays their first meeting at a dance held at New York's legendary Webster Hall, where they both felt they'd met their soul mate. Kellogg’s versatile range and vocal skills portray a marriage built on love and respect that grew deeper and richer with every passing year. The story also affirms that belief in oneself is important at any age. Chapter One is an interview with the author."
G.D.W. 2010 Audies Finalist - © AudioFile Portland, Maine
Publisher: Oasis Audio
Publication Date: 20090409
Subject: BIO026000-BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs,
About The Author:
Ninety-nine-year-old Harry Bernstein immigrated to the United States with his family after World War I. He is the author of The Invisible Wall and The Dream and has been published in My Turn” in Newsweek. Bernstein lives in Brick, New Jersey, where he is working on another book.