Just One cover


Just One:  
Connecting with a Grandmother’s Life

a novel by

Esther Gerstenfeld Erman

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See a photo album of the real people portrayed in the novel.


"With her gifts as a storyteller and as a terrific writer, Esther Erman has transformed the experiences and tales of her family into a compelling, moving, life-filled novel. Through the struggles, joys, and sorrows of one family, she has given us a novel that captures the experience of European Jewry in the last century. This book is a remarkable achievement."
     --Arthur Kurzweil, author of From Generation to Generation
"...brings to life the relationship between three generations of women … This is a story that rings true… This is a novel that would…be welcome in any library to give insight into the Holocaust and survivor generation."
  -- Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter
"Full of rich and often painful Jewish history,...folklore and...customs. ... Convincing and absorbing..., this story makes for fascinating reading."
  -- Romantic Times Bookclub

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Just One is based on the lives of the author’s grandmother, mother, and herself:
From a village in Poland to the streets of America...
From the ashes of a family destroyed to the resurgence of life...
    Estera was a pious woman who lived in a small village in Poland and perished at Treblinka.  Her life encompassed marriage, supporting her family, a divorce (which she chose) and the ensuing scandal, a great love story in her remarriage, widowhood, and the tragic loss of children. Of her many loved ones, only one daughter survived the Holocaust. Estera’s soul cried out in pain and loss. But then her spirit, summoned back to Earth by the longing of her granddaughter Esther, began a journey that would transform both her and the child.
    Growing up in the alien culture of America, the child came to accept her grandmother’s otherworldly appearances and her meddling -- but always felt something missing. Only as she learned the full scope of her grandmother’s life from her own mother’s stories -- preserving memories and linking the generations -- did she find the strength to claim her own identity and move on to the future.
                            read the prologue & first chapter

The author is the "Esther" of Just One, a novelized telling of her grandmother’s life, compiled from stories her mother told over many years. Born in Germany soon after her parents’ liberation from the World War II death camps, Esther is herself now a grandmother.

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