LOVE AND RUTABAGA: A Remembrance of the War Years
by Claire Hsu Accomando
For Claire Hsu, just becoming aware of the adults around her as World War II dawned, love and rutabaga were twin gifts that saved her family: From love they drew spiritual strength, from the awful but inevitable rutabaga, sustenance, as the soldiers of the Third Reich occupied their country and ravaged their peace. Fifty years later, Claire Hsu Accomando - the daughter of a French mother and a Chinese father who was trapped in Russia during the war - has woven her childhood into this singular memoir. Her story is unlike most others. For her family there were no death camps, yet the war permeated every detail Claire remembers: Grandpapa listening to the radio, Mama sewing messages into the laundry she took to her sister in prison, Claire tasting her first piece of chewing gum, given to her by an American soldier. And it is these images that make the book so unforgettable.