by Fiona Gold Kroll
Some stories speak more of their author than their subject matter. I truly believe that A Stone for Benjamin is an instance of this. Kroll shows much of her positive outlook when she romanticizes the unknown man in the image she has seen her entire life; what comes across is a strong woman out on a mission very dear to her heart and traveling great lengths to accomplish it.
The majority of the memoir is written in short, succinct, matter-of-fact sentences, which convey the information well and give the author a unique voice. However, a memoir is okay when it presents facts about the journey, but a great one also elucidates more profound ideas from these experiences. This is where the story falters, which is truly tragic. Given the extreme emotions the author must have felt throughout the memoir––the height of the book being the touching emotional moment at the Majdanek concentration camp––it would have been so delightful to me if the author was able to delve a bit deeper.
At the end of it all, Kroll went through an inspiring journey to honour the memory of her ancestors, but A Stone for Benjamin is missing a little something to make it truly powerful.
If you’re interested in checking out this memoir, here it is on Amazon.ca .