Skip to main content

Guest Post: "Olga" by Jeffrey H. Konis

     Today's guest writer is Jeffrey H. Konis. He is the author of The Conversations We Never Had. It is a fictional memoir of an imagining of the author's conversations he would had with his grandmother who had passed away. He always had regrets about not asking her questions about her family when she was alive. This book is a tribute to her and his family. I hope this guest post will encourage to listen to his story. Thank you, Mr. Konis!


Olga


     As a young woman in 1920s Europe, Olga Berenstein – my father’s aunt and, later, my Grandma Ola – left Poland alone to attend university in Liege, Belgium.  During her college years, she travelled to Paris alone to attend the Sorbonne for a period of time, intending to study medicine, before going by herself to Berlin to visit a good friend.  Here was a young, single woman traipsing alone throughout Europe, learning different languages and defying societal expectations along the way.

     This same woman subsequently survived the lethal conditions of the Kovno ghetto and the even more fatal environment of a German concentration camp during the Holocaust.  Afterwards, Olga went back to Poland to see if any members of her family had survived and found my dad who had been hiding on a farm in the countryside.  She eventually took her orphaned nephew to this country where she had to learn yet another language and culture.

     Suffice to say, Olga was a woman of tremendous intelligence and independence, which inherently necessitated a degree of courage. The many priceless life lessons my dad has imparted to me began with Grandma Ola.  The kind of son and father I became – and continue to become – began with her.  Indeed, I am the man that I am because she was the woman that she was.  I am forever duty-bound, imbued with love, admiration and gratitude, to ensure my own sons understand this and, hopefully, this history will repeat itself.

The Conversations We Never Had by Jeffrey H. Konis


Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Release Date: May 2016
Pages: 208

Book Description:

     The Conversations We Never Had, by Jeffrey H. Konis, is a historical fiction novel / memoir that highlights the importance of family history.

     When Jeffrey's grandma died, he was left with a sense of guilt and profound regret for not having gotten to know her better.

     “My father remembers nothing about his real parents. They were dead by the time he was nine. Olga, his mother's younger sister, not only survived the Holocaust, but was able to find my father at his hiding place – a farm in Poland – and later brought him to America to raise as her own. In all that time, he never asked her any questions about his parents,” says Jeffrey. “I lived with Olga for over two years and she would have been able and willing to tell me about my real grandparents, my dad as a little boy and so much more had I simply asked the questions.  I never did.  Olga has been gone for more than twenty years, along with everything she could have told me. I wish I could go back and have a second chance to get to know her better and learn more about my family from the only person in the world who knew them and remembered them.” 

     The Conversations We Never Had is a chronicle of Jeffrey's time spent with his Grandma "Ola" and an imagining of the stories she might have shared had he only took the time to ask the questions. It is a heartwarming story that will leave you eager to spend time with your family and learn more about them before it’s too late.

Praise:


     “Jeffrey H. Konis won my heart from the very first page and had my eyes glued to the pages throughout the entire narrative…The Conversations We Never Had is a book that will warm your heart and lead you toward the pursuit of love and gratitude for those who are part of your journey to yourself. Beautiful and inspiring, this book is highly recommended!” – 5 Stars, Romuald Dzemo for Readers Favorite

About the Author:


     After practicing law for many years, Jeffrey H. Konis left the profession to embark on a career as a high school social studies teacher. His first book, From Courtroom to Classroom: Making a Case for Good Teaching, offers a unique perspective for teachers who seek to inspire their students to learn for the sake of learning. 

     His latest work, The Conversations We Never Had, was released in May 2016. 

     Jeffrey loves reading, collecting fine art photography, soccer – especially Liverpool F.C. – travel, and his family most of all. He currently resides in Goshen, New York with his wife, Pamela, and sons, Alexander and Marc.

     Readers can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters #1) by Lucinda Riley: A Book Review

The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters #1) Author: Lucinda Riley Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance Publisher: Atria Release Date: 2015 Pages: 463 Source: My State Public Library Synopsis: Maia D’Apliese and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home, “Atlantis”—a fabulous, secluded castle situated on the shores of Lake Geneva—having been told that their beloved father, who adopted them all as babies, has died. Each of them is handed a tantalizing clue to her true heritage—a clue which takes Maia across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Once there, she begins to put together the pieces of her story and its beginnings. Eighty years earlier in Rio’s Belle Epoque of the 1920s, Izabela Bonifacio’s father has aspirations for his daughter to marry into the aristocracy. Meanwhile, architect Heitor da Silva Costa is devising plans for an enormous statue, to be called Christ the Redeemer, and will soon travel to Paris to find the right sculptor to

My Favorite Books of 2021

Looking back at the year 2021, it has been a very hard year especially with the pandemic. Reading a good book is what helps me get through the most difficult times. While I did not read as much this year as I usually do, I still found some gems that a worth a re-read. These books drew me into the past and for a while whisked me away from the realities of 2021. This is the list of my favorite books of the year. Boudica has always been one of my favorite historical figures of the year. I even wrote a history article which you can find here . I can say without a doubt that Melanie Karsak did justice to Boudica's early life. It was  a gripping historical read with raw emotions! I look forward to the next books in the series to see how Queen Boudica is portrayed! Queen Esther's story has always been one of my favorite book in the Bible . When my favorite Christian author writes one of my favorite stories, it becomes a sweet treat! I loved everything about The Star of Persia ! The m

Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts: A Book Review

Finding Dorothy Author: Elizabeth Letts Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Ballantine Books Release Date: February 12, 2019 Pages: 352 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: Hollywood, 1938: As soon as she learns that M-G-M is adapting her late husband’s masterpiece for the screen, seventy-seven-year-old Maud Gage Baum sets about trying to finagle her way onto the set. Nineteen years after Frank’s passing, Maud is the only person who can help the producers stay true to the spirit of the book—because she’s the only one left who knows its secrets.     But the moment she hears Judy Garland rehearsing the first notes of “Over the Rainbow,” Maud recognizes the yearning that defined her own life story, from her youth as a suffragette’s daughter to her coming of age as one of the first women in the Ivy League, from her blossoming romance with Frank to the hardscrabble prairie years that inspired The Wonderful Wizard of Oz . Judy reminds Maud of a