My Lost Family

An Audible Original
Narrated by: Danny Ben-Moshe
Length: 2 hrs and 13 mins
4.3 out of 5 stars (17,349 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A family must come to terms with the past when two missing children reappear after 40 years. As the secrets unravel in this real-life tale, can the family lay to rest the ghosts of the past? Growing up in a poor Yiddish-speaking home in 1950s London, teenager Lillian marries a charming older man, Raymond. One day he takes their children to the local park. They never come back. Forty years later, they reappear—and the search for the truth begins.

Unfolding like a mystery novel, the series follows an eccentric Jewish family as they unearth family secrets, attempt to reconcile, and hear shocking news that sheds a new light on events. Creator Danny Ben-Moshe is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. This Audible Original expands and continues the story from his acclaimed documentary, My Mother’s Lost Children, which was reviewed as "heartfelt and unflinching" by The Times of London, "critics choice" in The Sunday Times, and “exemplary work” by the New Statesman.

Danny sets out to find the truth but comes to the conclusion that the truth can be elusive. It seems that every family has a story…and a secret. This engaging tale is told by a dynamic cast, and as the story unravels, the plot thickens. While dealing with serious issues, the story is also full of wit, quirkiness, and laughter.
 

©2019 Audible, Ltd (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

Our favorite moments from My Lost Family

The letter that changed everything
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"What are people going to think?"
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The day the children disappeared
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  • My Lost Family
  • The letter that changed everything
  • My Lost Family
  • "What are people going to think?"
  • My Lost Family
  • The day the children disappeared

"Intriguing, heartbreaking, enraging, riveting—this story grabbed me and pulled me in! I loved the real voices and interviews in this documentary-style recording!"

Byumom, Audible Listener
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Danny Ben-Moshe

About the Creator and Performer

Danny Ben-Moshe is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and founder of Identity Films in Melbourne, Australia. His film, China’s Artful Dissident, was broadcast in June 2019 on the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre (ABC, Australia). Danny has a penchant for Jewish stories, including Outback Rabbis (PBS) and My Mother’s Lost Children (BBC), an epic family saga told across five continents and six decades.

Prior to his career as a filmmaker, Danny was an associate professor at Victoria University and Deakin University in Australia. He is the author of over 30 academic articles on racism, diasporas, Jewish identity, and Israel. He is a graduate in law and politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London and received a PhD in Jewish studies from the University of Melbourne.

What listeners say about My Lost Family

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Very interesting/upsetting story

I do NOT understand Lillian’s syrupy and self-excusing apathy. Even if her children eventually wound up permanently staying with Raymond, (because his family had money) Lillian should have done everything in her power to find the children. She should have explained to them what had happened outside of her control and kept in touch with them or at the least, kept track of them. Any action in that direction would have been far superior to her wimpy passive acceptance. WHO DOES THAT ?!?!?! I completely agree with Andrew’s perspective. To not report Raymond and not make a single inquiry as to the children’s whereabouts, is just bizarre and unnatural. There is no “explanation” from Lillian that even comes close to making any sense. Lillian met her second husband and became quite satisfied with her life. “It all just faded away” That one statement is SO telling. I am outraged by Lillian’s flippancy. I feel disgust and ZERO respect for Lillian. I am absolutely heartbroken for Andrew and Michelle. Lillian is beyond lucky that either of those grown children spoke to her. Lillian is handily misinterpreting the children’s contact with her. Yes, Michelle hugged and cried upon first meeting. That extremely emotional moment of initial reunification had to be so multi- layered and complicated for Michelle. If Michelle has somehow-managed to ignore the obvious and maintain a relationship with Lillian, then good luck to her. Lillian doesn’t deserve it ! When Lillian met with Andrew, I was simply floored by her cavalier conversation with him. Lillian takes NO responsibility for her complete lack of response when the children disappeared! Andrew and Michelle were both devastated and permanently altered by the selfish actions and dreadfully poor choices of each of their derelict parents. IT CHANGED WHO THEY COULD HAVE BEEN Lost Family ??? It didn’t have to be.

33 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

good story but could have been told better

The mother was not a sympathetic character and should not have been the main focus because of that. She was considerably self absorbed. Only in a few places in the story did she seem be truly upset about her children being taken from her, continually offering the fact of how young she was as the reason why she didn't try to find them. Only when she talked about giving birth to her son from her 2nd husband did she show her emotional turmoil over loss of her children. The rest of the time she offered a seeming sense of relief over the children's being taken from her and how it turned out to be a better thing for her because she was still young enough to find a better husband and have a good life. I don't think she knows how she came off as a self-centered woman, but I find it hard to believe the son Danny who was making the film was oblivious to it. It would have been much better if the story had been told from the two "lost children" point of view. The mother may not have had the where withal to hunt for them, but she had no details that made us think she was having deep depression, anxiety, or mental anguish over their loss for the first 2 years. For most mothers their loss would have been intolerable, leaving them with no energy to do or think of anything else. I can't understand why Danny couldn't have told the story better. Instead he opened up his mom to reveal a person who seems to have landed in a better marriage and a better life becase of the kidnapping and counts herself lucky. This was a very different story with the children.

13 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Heartbreaking true story

I selected this book from my Audio list. The description intrigued me and I wanted to find out all about this “Lost Family“. How would you feel if your children’s father came to visit them, took them to the park, and all three disappeared? This is a true story of what one woman went through. After 50 years she finally gets answers. I was spellbound and horrified at what the children went through and the type of man their father turned out to be. This was well worth a listen. The characters in the story are voiced by the actual people - this made the story more compelling.

48 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Depressing story, often annoying to listen to

This story might’ve been better told in narrative form, without all the interviews, by a skilled narrator. The facts are sad and depressing, but having to listen to all the hesitant conversations, especially the repeated protestations, was annoying. The authors mother is an extremely elderly woman, and she just kept saying that she was extremely young when this all happened. I don’t think it was fair to her at this point in her life.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Well put together but........

This was extremely brave for the family to not only seek out but to share with all of us. Unfortunately I cannot share the same feelings the daughter shared about her father. No father should put their children through what he put his children through. I am also slightly saddened by the mother’s view about not searching for her children. I understand it was a different time and place, but how can a parent not try everything to find their children?

67 people found this helpful

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Captivating

The story of selfishness, love, lust, power and the potential for reconciliation and forgiveness. To know so many lives are impacted by our choices. Generation upon generation.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating and painful

I've been critical of some Audible Originals as having too much background noise (most of the freebies) or for being inane (The Burnout Generation). MY LOST FAMILY is an interesting and upsetting story that suffers from none of the weaknesses. Recommended!!

46 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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My heart goes out to this poor mother

A moving story. My mum is the same age as Lillian and grew up in a similar, poor, working class area of London. A charming, wealthy Iranian man gets her pregnant when she’s only 15. When she’s still a teenager, he kidnaps their two children. He’s their father: it’s not a crime. Many young girls at that time were forced to give up children for adoption and encouraged to marry, have more kids and move on. Lillian would’ve been treated in the same way, even though her children were kidnapped. To this day, her son, who she has now met up with, can’t understand the society and culture his mother came from. He thinks she didn’t try to find him. Like my mum, Lillian viewed going overseas in search of her children like going to the moon: she wouldn’t have had a passport, wouldn’t have been able to afford a plane ticket and wouldn’t have known that there was an Iranian embassy in London that might’ve been able to help - although would probably have just told her that her kids were her husband’s property. To hear her talk about how it’s all in the past, she moved on and had another life etc, is particularly hard, as it smacks of other people’s words and her attempt to look on the bright side, after a lifetime of trauma. Spoiler: what happens to her scumbag ex husband st the end, while obviously wrong, won’t leave feminists too upset!

43 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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AND I OOP

I'm sorry but I have no remorse for the mother!Her life decisions show the most extreme forms of selfishness.Get ready to get frustrated listening to this! Especially since the writer is an obvious mommas boy. It's heartbreaking...but not because of a mothers lost but because of the neglect all the children involved experienced and the generational trauma that will follow the family. Such a shame! From the start of the story, it shows she never wanted to have her first two kids to begin with. I believe she found it extremely convenient for her kids to go missing...since she quickly remarried and lead a "luxurious" life.   Because of her new life she felt no desire to search for her kids (who were less than a damn hour away). In addition, she was an absent mom to her other children, who would stay with her neighbors many times because of her depression...but she didn't even do the bare minimum like talk to the police. She blames her baby daddy for everything and takes 0 accountability. And when she finally meets with one of her kids that was "taken" she has the audacity to say she rather be at the club than meeting her son...SMH WHAT! and these are her thoughts as an old woman - imagine as an 18 year old? I literally CANT.

11 people found this helpful

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A Real Story--Good, but Complicated

The story was very good, and also tough to hear. I struggled mightily with connecting with his mom, who, underneath it all, really did not seem that devastated about losing the kids. Oh well, I was young, it's fate, and things worked out better for me? Well, I guess? Not so much for almost anyone else. But situations are always complicated. It was a super good listen.

15 people found this helpful