A fascinating and well-written story about family from Victoria Dougherty.


In the family I grew up in, love was often misplaced, nearly always badly botched, but nevertheless there – taking us from day to day. As a unit, we had every kind of bad luck you can imagine – Nazis, Communists, deaths big and small, petty humiliations and feature film-worthy fiascos. It’s luck so bad my mom actually calls it a curse. She believes that curse started germinating right around 1939 – when Hitler rolled into Prague. My mom curses that day.

But I’m an American. The only member of my family actually born here and raised with the corresponding happy-go-lucky spirit that all of us Americans share to some extent – even the grumpiest of us, the most self-loathing. I guess that’s why my family’s story – from my point of view – didn’t begin with “the curse.” It began with a gold box with a big plastic ruby…

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