I came to read this book 'by accident'. It was posted on Facebook as finally being released. I grew up with Planaria Price, known to me as Barbara, from 5th grade through high school. My father, a painting contractor, actually painted her family home several times. I always knew Planaria/Barbara through all my school years and had a wonderful reunion with her at our 50th high school gathering. I myself had an amazing Jewish mother, who lived to be 98, who, although blessedly not a Holocaust survivor, had that amazing spirit of a Jewish matriarch that gave me a strength of life and spirit so depicted in Basia's story.
This book was wonderful beyond description, a true mitzvah by all senses of the word. I myself have fallen away from Jewish faith and upbringing, but this book brought home to me so much of that heritage. I have read a great many books, fiction and non-fiction about the holocaust and survivors, but this book is so intensely personal in its story, I was rapt in reading it and will undoubtedly read it again and again. I would easily compare it to 'Sophie's Choice' which although fiction, was deep and personal in the way Planaria and Helen's book was, without so many of gruesome details of 'Sophie's Choice.' I am also a big fan of Roberta Kagan's holocaust stories, but again 'Claiming my Place' is so far above them, because of the way it was created and the way it was related and portrayed.
I offer deep gratitude and congratulations to Planaria and Helen for creating this beautiful homage to Basia and her story and for sharing it with the world. A big Mazel Tov to you both, if that is appropriate.