‘Fridays with Eva’
“Fridays with Eva” is the story of Bethanie Gorny’s Fridays with her mother-in-law, Eva, an octogenarian Holocaust survivor. When Eva’s advancing age necessitates a move closer to her son and daughter-in-law, Bethanie begins the routine of assisting Eva on Fridays. A surprising and beautiful relationship blossoms between two women who are very different from each other physically, culturally, and spiritually. Bethanie is a middle aged, pragmatic professor while Eva is an observant Jew, joke teller, and widow who has survived some of life’s worst tragedies. Whether this odd couple goes shopping, visits doctors, or sips tea, comical scenes and wrenching emotional ones will resonate with readers.
The story takes place during the last ten years of Eva’s life supplemented by flashbacks that reveal Eva's early idyllic life in Poland, her escape to Russia, and her incarceration in a harsh, bleak, Siberian forced labor camp. Bethanie learns that although the Holocaust ended in 1945, the survivors and their children were affected for the rest of their lives.
As their relationship develops, the practical professor discovers a spiritual, intuitive side to herself that she had neglected. She begins approaching life using some of Eva's everyday survival strategies. There is a gradual role reversal and Eva unwittingly becomes the teacher with Bethanie the student. Much to her surprise, Bethanie learns that the role of caregiver provides more benefits to her than to Eva.
“Fridays with Eva” is a heart warming and charming story that will entertain, educate, and inspire caregivers and people of all ages. It is ultimately about how relationships have the power to change us, what makes life meaningful, and how to survive life’s vicissitudes.