“First in her mesmerizing podcast and now with this stunning book, Rachael Cerrotti has redefined the art of bearing witness. Balancing meticulous devotion to the inherited past with luminous attention to the unfolding present, We Share the Same Sky maps an astonishing journey of tenacity and transformation. Among myriad narratives in the post-Holocaust landscape, this work is a dazzling beacon.” —Elizabeth Rosner, author of Survivor Café: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory
- We Share the Same Sky
Read by Rachael Cerrotti
Release Date: 2021-02-17
Formats: Digital Audiobook, eBook, MP3 CD, Retail CD Audiobook, Hardcover, Trade Paperback, Large Print Hardcover
In 2009, Rachael Cerrotti, a college student pursuing a career in photojournalism, asked her grandmother, Hana, if she could record her story. Rachael knew that her grandmother was a Holocaust survivor and the only one in her family alive at the end of the war. Rachael also knew that she survived because of the kindness of strangers. It wasn’t a secret. Hana spoke about her history publicly and regularly. But, Rachael wanted to document it as only a granddaughter could. So, that’s what they did: Hana talked and Rachael wrote.
Upon Hana’s passing in 2010, Rachael discovered an incredible archive of her life. There were preserved albums and hundreds of photographs dating back to the 1920s. There were letters waiting to be translated, journals, diaries, deportation and immigration papers as well as creative writings from various stages of Hana’s life.
Rachael digitized and organized it all, plucking it from the past and placing it into her present. Then, she began retracing her grandmother’s story, following her through Central Europe, Scandinavia, and across the United States. She tracked down the descendants of those who helped save her grandmother’s life during the war. Rachael went in pursuit of her grandmother’s memory to explore how the retelling of family stories becomes the history itself.
We Share the Same Sky weaves together the stories of these two young women—Hana as a refugee who remains one step ahead of the Nazis at every turn, and Rachael, whose insatiable curiosity to touch the past guides her into the lives of countless strangers, bringing her love and tragic loss. Throughout the course of her twenties, Hana’s history becomes a guidebook for Rachael in how to live a life empowered by grief.