Wednesday, 6 January 2021

The Choice by Edith Eger

The Choice by Edith Eger
Published by Ebury in September 2017.

How I got this book:
Bought the ebook from Amazon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In 1944, sixteen-year-old ballerina Edith Eger was sent to Auschwitz. Separated from her parents on arrival, she endures unimaginable experiences, including being made to dance for the infamous Josef Mengele. When the camp is finally liberated, she is pulled from a pile of bodies, barely alive.

The horrors of the Holocaust didn't break Edith. In fact, they helped her learn to live again with a life-affirming strength and a truly remarkable resilience. 

The Choice is her unforgettable story. It shows that hope can flower in the most unlikely places.

I had The Choice downloaded to my Kindle for over a year before I plucked up the courage to read this memoir which is somewhat ironic for a book that focuses on motivating oneself. Having read other Holocaust memoirs not long before the purchase I felt I needed to be in the right frame of mind to appreciate Eger's story and that did prove to partially true. Her memories of her experiences as a young Hungarian Jew is Nazi-occupied Europe are beyond grim and that she physically survived to bear witness to so many atrocities is miraculous. That she also managed to overcome that horrendous year and, eventually, became a psychiatrist helping others to surmount their emotional traumas is truly inspirational.

I was surprised by how uplifting and hopeful The Choice is to read. I felt it was a perfect New Year book and I loved Eger's conversational style. She addresses deep psychological concepts, but I appreciated the clarity of her explanations and the way in which she incorporated anecdotes from her professional American practice into her own life story. I remember how eerie my own visit to Auschwitz in the 1990s was and the oppressive atmosphere that still lingers there. I can't begin to imagine how it must have felt to Eger to return to the place where she lost so much. Her practical narration allows us some insight into her emotional strength. I hope that following the advice she gives throughout The Choice will allow me to develop more of her resilience and joy in life.

Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Edith Eger / Biography and memoirs / Books from Hungary


  1. Ohh this sounds like something I could get into. I've read a few memoirs last year, but mostly political figures. I think a hopeful story in the midst of horror is something we all can use right about now.

    Adding this to my pile!

    1. I do hope you get to read Edith's book. It is, understandably, very hard hitting in places but its spirit is ultimately uplifting