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By Alison Pick

 “Between Gods is that rare memoir that I couldn’t put down; brilliantly well written, Pick’s search for her Jewish roots is a deeply felt search for self, a profoundly moving journey of discovery of family history and the deep-seeded grief silently passed through generations. Pick’s memoir is a beautifully woven story of family, partnership, love and reconciliation, not just with one’s past but with oneself.”
-A.M. Homes

“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

Pick_Between Gods

From the Man Booker-nominated author of the novel Far to Go and one of our most talented young writers comes an unflinching, moving and unforgettable memoir about family secrets and the rediscovered past.

Alison Pick was born in the 1970s and raised in a supportive, loving family. She grew up laughing with her sister and cousins, and doting on her grandparents. Then as a teenager, Alison made a discovery that instantly changed her understanding of her family, and her vision for her own life, forever. She learned that her Pick grandparents, who had escaped from the Czech Republic during WWII, were Jewish–and that most of this side of the family had died in concentration camps. She also discovered that her own father had not known of this history until, in his twenties, he had a chance encounter with an old family friend–and then he, too, had kept the secret from Alison and her sister.

In her early thirties, engaged to be married to her longtime boyfriend but struggling with a crippling depression, Alison slowly but doggedly began to research and uncover her Jewish heritage. Eventually she came to realize that her true path forward was to reclaim her history and indentity as a Jew. But even then, one seemingly insurmountable problem remained: her mother wasn’t Jewish, so technically Alison wasn’t either. In this by times raw, by times sublime memoir, Alison recounts her struggle with the meaning of her faith, her journey to convert to Judaism, her battle with depression, and her path towards facing and accepting the past and embracing the future–including starting a new family of her own. This is her unusual and gripping story, told in crystalline prose and with all the nuance and drama of a novel, but illuminated with heartbreaking insight into the very real lives of the dead, and hard-won hope for the lives of all those who carry on after.

“…ambitious as it is inclusive…Between Gods is a sometimes wincingly honest diary, filled with malaise and dread vulnerability. But within the frame of the book, Pick’s intelligence and intent to observe her moral possibilities remain apparent.”
– The Globe and Mail

“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 provides a moving description of her ongoing battle with mental illness and offers possible theories about the cause of her depression. These become evermore poignant as her pregnancy progresses and she simultaneously discovers the traumas of her ancestors. 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

“A fascinating story of the ties that bind, even those one isn’t conscious of.”
The Independent (UK)

“Pick’s writing ability and keen intellect ensure she’s able to navigate such delicate, complex subject matter with compassion and clarity.”
– Toronto Star

“…an unflinching, courageous memoir… the author’s skill at storytelling and knack for cliche-free description are undeniable. Sentences are lean, evocative, and raw with detail.”
– Quill & Quire



Doubleday Canada, September 2014
HarperCollins US, Fall 2015
Headline UK, Fall 2015


Winner of the 2015 Canadian Jewish Book Award
2015 Nominee for the Forest of Reading® Evergreen Award™
Shortlisted for the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction
A Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year 2014
A CBC Best Book of 2014
Winner of the J.I. Segal Award for English Non-Fiction on a Jewish Theme


Article by Pick in The Guardian
Review in The Independent

Other Books by Alison Pick