Beach Moose and Amber: Finding My Jewish History
When Sharon found typewritten pages tucked in the back of her deceased father’s accordion folder, she had no idea she was holding an invitation to the greatest writing adventure of her life. The pages were her mother’s final attempt to record her Jewish family’s history — a history that she had kept secret for decades. Sharon’s mother was clear in her writing, “All I ask is that you not forget me.”
With her mother’s written permission to explore the past, Sharon embarked on a journey that would take her from the Russian Revolution to Nazi-occupied Lithuania, onto rural Nova Scotia, Canada. The journey was often painful, as Sharon learned more about her Jewish identity and uncovered the trauma her family had experienced before and during the Holocaust.
Grieving for the murdered aunts, uncles and cousins whom she never got to meet, Sharon found herself struggling with depression and sleepless nights. Sharon’s journey was one of grief, but it was also one of love and perseverance.
Adolf Hitler failed in his attempt to eradicate the Jewish race. The Nafthal and Isserlin families live on in the three generations born in Canada since Sharon’s mother and grandparents fled Europe weeks before World War II. Thanks to Beach Moose & Amber: Finding My Jewish History the family descendants know the great courage, strength and determination that run through their blood.
Sharon Easton is among the first generation of Jews born after the Holocaust. Her birthplace was rural Nova Scotia, Canada, where her Jewish grandparents and mother immigrated after they fled their home in Lithuania — arriving in Canada six weeks before World War II was declared. Her family didn’t talk about those horrendous years in Europe. Decades after her grandparents and parents passed away, she found her voice and shares her family’s experiences. Sharon, her daughters and grandson are three generations of living testimony that the insane determination to eliminate all Jews worldwide during the Holocaust — The Final Solution — failed. Always a storyteller, when Sharon was too young to know how to write she would take her father’s yellow-lined paper and worn pencils to scribble indecipherable sentences while she made up stories in her head. Adventure was calling Sharon when she moved from Canada’s east coast to British Columbia’s west coast. One of her goals was to create a writing community around her. Sharon is the co-founder of The Five W’s Writing Circle, co-founder of The Salish Sea Writers and a member of the Federation of University Women’s Writers. She is also a member of the Federation of BC Writers. 284 Sharon’s first creative non-fiction book titled Beach Moose & Amber: Finding My Jewish History is the greatest writing adventure of her life — at least for now. If Sharon is not in her studio writing, you can find her hiking with friends and dogs, cycling back roads, wandering the beaches or paddling the bays of the Pacific Ocean. She also loves RVing in North America and flying to far-away destinations. Sharon lives by the sea on beautiful Vancouver Island with her husband and two wonderful Labradoodles.