Recalling her long-ago nightmare experience with extraordinary frankness and candor, Renee admits that some of its most horrific details remain a blank, perhaps a legitimate coping mechanism.
Her memoir doesn’t sugarcoat or gloss her humanity and faults. “Every day it is difficult for me to get up, every day it is a challenge. But I do it. I would much rather stay in bed and pull the covers over my head, but then I would feel terrible. I know it would not be good for me. Getting involved is key, a biggie. That is what keeps me going. The secret is in the doing. That is the thing, to feel the depression and keep going in spite of it, to ‘take your dog with you, biting at your heels,’” she writes.
Her life experiences, plus working on herself without fail, has helped Renee to “peel off layers of rejection, of hurt and fear and trauma, the denial of my Jewishness, the denial of feelings and of my very soul, to now, a time where I embrace life, where I am thriving,” she says. She takes great joy in consecrating Jewish as well as interfaith marriages. And, about four times a week, she even takes the bus to Zabar’s (a well-known food emporium on the upper west side of Manhattan), where she “soaks up connections” by sitting in the middle of a communal table. “I always meet fascinating people and learn something new,” she says.
So, although the title of Renee’s memoir seems a little glib at first, it really is just as it says, “A True Tale of Terror and Celebration.” It is a tale well told, a tale well worth reading.