Friday, September 13, 2019

A Fascinating Read

Aniko: the Stranger Who Loved Me by Dr. Bob Rich

I can’t remember when I have started re-reading a book before I’ve even finished it, but that is what happened with this book. I was enthralled with the story from page one.

 The cast of characters was the author’s family, specifically his mother Aniko Stern. The setting was Hungary, both pre- and post-war. The conflict was constant, external from the Nazis and then the Communists, internal the pressures of being a Jewish family in war-torn Europe. That the family not only survived but thrived was due to Aniko’s indomitable spirit. She may have been small in stature but everything else about her was larger than life.

It wasn’t the happiest of stories. Quite apart from the brutality and oppression of the times, the family dynamics make fascinating reading. The relationships between Aniko and her parents, her first husband and the author’s father, Tibor, and later her second husband, Antal, and his mother were told in a clean-cut, no-holds-barred narrative. 

The author makes no bones about his reaction to Antal, nor to his eventual journey to Australia in the company of his Uncle Peter, a man who is something of a shadowy figure throughout the story with all his comings and goings but who still manages to leave a large and unpleasant impression.

It has long been my opinion that in every era there are people, women especially, who break the mold and rise above the norm. Aniko Stern was one of those women. In telling her story, often written in lyrical prose, Bob Rich has given us not only a view of history that many of us do not know, but also a message of love and hope.

This is a book I fully recommend.

About Dr. Bob Rich

Bob Rich was invented by Margaret Sutcliffe (12), who lives inside Bob’s computer. Being the most intelligent person on Earth, Margaret did a good job. She needed Bob to write the Doom Healer series, in which she is a major character. Bob is now obediently seeking a publisher for the first volume of the series.

The Bob she created is an Australian storyteller with 18 published books, five of them award-winners. He has retired five times so far, but enthusiastically carries out his job as Professional Grandfather, working for a survivable future, and one worth surviving in. His popular blog, Bobbing Around, is at 

Here are links where you may purchase the book:

Amazon Kindle

Barnes and Noble Nook


1 comment:

  1. Victoria, thank you for your kind words, and for liking my mother. I think she'd have loved your writing. It was just her kind of thing.