Between Gods (Paperback)

A Memoir

By Alison Pick

Harper Perennial, 9780062362469, 400pp.

Publication Date: October 20, 2015

List Price: 15.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Profound, honest, and masterfully written—Between Gods forces us to reexamine our beliefs and the extent to which they define us.

Growing up in a tight-knit Christian family, Alison Pick went to church regularly. But as a teenager, she discovered a remarkable family secret: her paternal grandparents fled from the Czech Republic at the start of WWII because they were Jewish. Tragically, other family members who hesitated to emigrate were sent to Auschwitz.

Haunted by the Holocaust, Alison's grandparents established themselves in their new lives as Christians. Not even Alison's father knew of his parents' past until he visited the Jewish cemetery in Prague as an adult. This atmosphere of shame and secrecy haunted Alison's journey into adulthood.

Drowning in a sense of emptiness, she eventually came to realize that her true path forward lay in reclaiming her history and identity as a Jew, and she began attending conversion classes. But the process was far from easy as old wounds were opened, and all of her relationships were tested.

About the Author

Alison Pick was the Bronwen Wallace Award winner for the most promising writer under thirty-five in Canada. Her first novel is The Sweet Edge, and her second novel, the bestseller Far to Go, was nominated for the Man Booker Prize, won the Canadian Jewish Book Award for Fiction, and was named a "Top 10 of 2010" book by the Toronto Star. Between Gods, named a "Best Book" by both the Globe and Mail and CBC, has been nominated for the prestigious BC National Award for Nonfiction.

Praise For Between Gods: A Memoir

“Pick is a marvelous writer, and she vividly recreates the transformation of her relationships…. Her path to conversion—complicated, nearly thwarted—is deeply moving in its culmination. Ultimately, this layered look at identity is a call for claiming one’s true self.”
New York Times Book Review

“Pick’s lovely but unflinching narrative tackles relationships and depression, and many readers will identify with the struggle of loving your family while sometimes not understanding them at all.... It’s an intimate portrait of one woman’s journey to find the faith her grandparents buried with their past.”

“Brave and honest, this book offers an intimate portrait of a woman seeking to heal from inherited family trauma and find the beginnings of peace within her own soul. A poignant and powerful memoir of family, religion, love, and healing. ”
Kirkus Reviews

“Thoughtful…. Pick writes her memoir by combining her fight against deep depression with the tenacious sense of hope she maintains in recovering her true identity as a Jew.”
Publishers Weekly

“Pick provides a moving description of her ongoing battle…. Readers interested in memoirs, Judaism, World War II history, or the Holocaust will certainly be captivated by Pick’s engaging and, at times, heart-wrenching narrative.”
Library Journal

“There is…sometimes a document of private life so thrilling in its subjectivity that it shuts you right up. Alison Pick’s Between Gods is such a book, a memoir ambitious as it is inclusive; …a sometimes wincingly honest diary, filled with…Pick’s intelligence and intent to observe her moral possibilities.”
Globe and Mail (Toronto)

“Alison Pick’s story of real life–the undeniable fates of the dead, and the hard-won hope of the living-illuminates her powerful new memoir, Between Gods.”
Toronto Star

“A powerful book that has the author reclaiming the heritage her grandparents had abandoned. Readers will not want to put the book down because this memoir is a beautifully woven story of family, partnership, religion, love and reconciliation as she connects her present life to the past.”