Praise for Regina’s Closet:

“The book is remarkable for its large sweep of history as well as for the intimate details of everyday life, of which the journal itself—’a plastic sheath filled with papers’—is the most poignant.”

~ Kyoko Mori, author of The Dream of Water: A Memoir and Polite Lies

“Raab makes Regina’s Closet a walk-in book, complete with recovered documents and packed with the sumptuous, minute, domestic, tormented and romantic details of one fully-lived life and another plucky life lived in answer to it.”

~ Molly Peacock, author of Paradise: Piece by Piece: A Memoir

“There is an ancient adage, which to paraphrase, states that if people wish to see their own lives in perspective, they must first search for their reflections in the souls of their ancestors. This same adage portrays the journey of discovery as emotionally arduous, spiritually painful and often dangerous. Diana Raab’s marvelous journal has liberated the voice of her remarkable grandmother with insight, compassion and considerable skill. Acknowledging the price paid for the truth, I applaud her courage as well as her literary talents.”

~ Thomas Steinbeck, author and son of American literary forefather, John Steinbeck

“Powerful, fascinating, and deeply moving . . . Regina’s story of a determined little girl fighting for her family’s survival in Europe during World War I opens a window onto a time in history that few people alive remember, but everyone should know about . . . Utterly riveting.”

~ Rachel Simon, author of Riding the Bus With My Sister

“Regina’s Closet is a compelling memoir of war, diasporas, survival, and love. Diana Raab has painstakingly researched her grandmother’s life and in these pages pays homage to an incredible woman who recorded in her journals the horror of war and the difficult but ascendant work of survival. When Diana is diagnosed with breast cancer, she turns to her grandmother’s journals and discovers the inspiration and strength she’ll need in order to survive this devastating disease. Regina’s Closet is a transcendent tale about the power of words and the indestructible wisdom of love.”

~ Connie May Fowler, author of Before Women Had Wings and The Problem with Murmur Lee

“Regina’s Closet is a raw and moving account of the life of Regina Klein, Raab’s maternal grandmother, set against the backdrop of widespread violence in Europe in the early 1900s. The book is at once a compelling portrait of complex legacies passed down from mothers to daughters (and then to granddaughters) — as well as a testament to how our lives are inexorably shaped by the choices and circumstances of those who came before us. This is a brave, important, and well-written book.”

~ Paula Goldman, Founder/Director, Imagining Ourselves, International Museum of Women

“Intensely interesting, Diana Raab’s transcript of her grandmother’s diary portrays the immense sadness and difficulty—and bravery and determination—of a life in Europe under occupation. Raab’s commentary provides useful information and chronology but also reveals her deep love for, and sense of connection with, her grandmother. Two memoirs in one then, and both of them achingly poignant, generously precise.”

~ Kelly Cherry, author of The Exiled Heart

“Regina’s Closet offers a powerful window into the lingering effects of human atrocity. Through her grandmother’s secret journal, Diana Raab discovers how both pain and resilience can be passed down through generations, and how sharing our stories can become a profound act of healing.”

~ Gayle Brandeis, author of Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write

“Thank you, Diana, for giving a face to the little girl I sent the contents of my ‘piggy bank’ some ninety years ago. Your book, Regina’s Closet touched me deeply.”

~ Mireille Marokvia, author of Sins of the Innocent

“What is contained in the pages of this journal is literally a whirlwind. In this day when remarkable stories of fathers, mothers, brothers, sons and daughters appear in print with increasing regularity, a reader might be justified in appearing skeptical when I say Regina’s story is remarkable. But it is. Diana has shaped this powerful raw material into a form that we can now simply call—art.”

~ Richard Goodman, author of French Dirt

“Finding her grandmother after her suicide became the central event of Diana’s childhood, and that’s why finding her grandmother’s journal years later may have been the central saving event of Diana in her own complex life as an adult. A strong, serious true story of women surviving.”

~ Philip F. Deaver, author of Silent Retreats, winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction

“Regina’s Closet is a most compelling, educational, and truly awe-inspiring book…Diana has us share in her gratification and closure after finding the diary, a key to formerly locked doors of unanswered questions about Regina’s life-long struggle of trying to let go of her hard life as a child, teen, and young woman. This book is a must read for all, it teaches us lessons in perseverance and never giving up when the outlook appears bleak, and all odds are against us.”

~ Stuart Ulrich

“…As a teacher of writing and literature, I was impressed with Raab’s use of her grandmother’s testimony as the major melody, and her own counterpoint to support the theme of heredity, environment, and trauma. This book is measured in tone, and permits the reader to reach conclusions about family history, for we all wonder about our legacy.

‘Regina’s Closet’ is a lovely eulogy for a beloved grandmother, and I highly recommend it.”

~ Dr. Shirley Budhos

“…While the memoir is about the relationship between author and grandmother and the loss created when the grandmother died, the diary of Regina is also a heart breaking account of WWI and post WWI years as a child refugee from Kalush, Galicia (a partition of Poland). Regina’s Closet is a beautiful memorialization of the author’s grandmother’s life.”

~ Bonnie McKeegan

“Wow! What an incredible story. It’s rare for me to “rave” or to liter my opinions with complimentary adjectives and yet, I have been exposed to a book that absolutely demands both . . . Regina’s Closet: Finding My Grandmother’s Secret Journal is hauntingly beautiful and filled with the kind of raw emotion that reaches out from the pages and touches the reader in a very tangible way. Don’t miss this heart warming, inspiring and life-affirming book– this is one you will want to share with everyone!”

~ RJ McGill

“This book is an excellent example of what a memoir is and why writers write: to tell the story of people’s lives, to try to find meaning in events that seem to make no sense. Throughout the book, Diana Raab tries to put all the pieces of her grandmother’s death together through excerpts of the diary and through memories…”

~ R.M. Russell

“The author interweaves excerpts from her grandmother’s diary with facts gleaned from others and her own personal thoughts and observations in a unique presentation of historical significance and personal reflection. Diana finds the diary at a time in her own life when she is in need of support and guidance for her life. Journeying back into her grandmother’s past helps her find her way in the present. 5 stars.”

~ Christine M. Irvine

“This book held my attention from the first page…Diana has a wonderful connection to her grandmother and through her brave explorations has brought meaning to Regina’s life. This book is one to read because all of come from others whose lives remain in shadows. Finding and exploring the shadows help to shed light unto ourselves.”

~ Linda Branch, PhD

“I enjoyed the story and the glimpse into the lives of Regina, her daughter and granddaughter. This book has an intimate look at the experiences of living through war and the inter-workings of three generations of women…”

~ Kathleen E.

“This book is insightful, compassionate, and written with elegance. I am inspired, and so glad I read this book! Can’t recommend highly enough, you will love this book!”

~ Julie

“…Throughout Regina’s Closet, Raab brackets her grandmother’s riveting first-hand account with elements of her own: the story of Diana’s childhood adoration of her beautiful grandmother, the young Diana’s delight in her first job (a banking job, like that of her grandmother), the adult Diana’s own depression when she’s diagnosed with breast cancer. She also includes important elements of the chaotic events that shaped Regina’s childhood and adult life, so that we have an understanding not just of the personal history but of the social and political history of the times.”

~ Susan

“Regina’s Closet is a rare glimpse into the private world of a young Jewish girl who lived through the nightmare of life in Eastern Europe in the years prior to World War II. Regina overcame so much in her lifetime, only to succomb in the end to the inevitable effects of rejection and persecution. Rarely do we get to hear such a story in the first person. The sadness I felt for Regina, combined with the envy I felt for Diana Raab at having the gift of obtaining Regina’s own diary, makes for a wonderful read of this important story.”

~ Marla Leader

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