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Sunday, May 18, 2014
The year is 1996 and more than 100 people of diverse backgrounds,
religions and nationalities have joined together for a retreat at what was once a WWII concentration camp in Poland. For a variety of personal reasons they want to reflect, say prayer and remember the millions that perished during the Holocaust. They need to do this in memory of the past and for the sake of their future. Some live with guilt passed on through generations. Others lost their entire family. Through the eyes of Clements Olin, a Polish born, American raised academic researching Polish poets and writers, we find that digging up the past is not as simple as it appears. Even when you think you know who you are, the whole truth can set you free to live the life and be the person you were meant to and want to be. But does the past define us or can we create our own destiny regardless of who we were borne to? The writing of Peter Matthiessen will live on forever and as he has recently passed away, I was interested in reading his last and final work. This sophisticated heartfelt writing brings up questions you may never have pondered and most likely do not know the answers to. In Paradise is not what I expected, the characters were tough and the story hard to follow - but I could not put it down and I will be thinking about its insinuations for a long time to come.