Every family has a ghost. There’s the aunt we don’t talk about, the cousin who disappeared, and where DID your sister get her flaming red hair, anyway? The need to know where we come from, combined with the sneaking suspicion that there is a secret hidden in grandma’s attic after all, makes Suzanne Berne‘s new memoir, Missing Lucile, more captivating than any work of fiction.
ABOUT THE BOOK: Lucile Berne was a daughter of Bernard Henry Kroger, the archetypal American self-made man, who at twenty-three established what is today’s $76 billion grocery enterprise. From her turn-of-the-century Cincinnati childhood to her college years at Wellesley, her tenure as treasurer of her father’s huge company, her stint as a relief worker in devastated France, her marriage to a professional singer, and the elusive, unhappy wealthy young matron she became, Lucile both illustrates and contradicts her times. In the process of creating this portrait, Berne discovers the function of family history: “to explain what is essentially inexplicable—how we came to be ourselves.”
“Applying exceptional intelligence and a novelist’s imagination to ‘snips of historical DNA,’ Suzanne Berne finds that Lucile has been waiting for her, all along, at the intersection of social history and private heartbreak.” - Thomas Mallon, author of Henry and Clara