"A moving and thrilling testament to one woman's will to live, but also to her courage and her love"
"A story of dauntless courage and much more"
Major events and prominent personalities of the 20th century seen through Vera's eyes. Her life, loves, trials, tribulations, achievements.
Wife, mother, child prodigy, musician, composer, artist, healer, therapist.
She survived racism, persecution, Bolsheviks, Nazis, hunger and ill-health.
She enjoyed great wealth and endured intense poverty.
She was born to an illustrious family, founded by an 18th century visionary and religious leader, and whose branches were to include Yehudi Menuhin and Isaiah Berlin.
Famous musicians, artists, dancers and writers were known to her - among them were Bakst, Sholem Aleichem, Glazounov, Horowitz, Milstein, Platigorski, and Wanda Landowska.
Through her eyes we see Rasputin, Kerensky, the Russian Revolution and its leaders, inter-war Paris, the Nazi horror, underground life in Vichy, France, post-war Switzerland, illness and caring and a new life with her beloved daughter.
In her 94 years Vera Chesno journeyed from Latvia to Russia and from France to Switzerland, settling finally in England. Her long road of travel saw her through 92 towns and cities in 14 countries.
"This is a rare tale encompassing extremes of wealth and poverty, safety and terror, glowing health and despairing illness, played out against the sombre background of the 1917 Russian Revolution and the grim era of Nazi madness.
"What a century it was! Against its turbulent background we can observe the life of Vera Chesno, born in 1891 into an opulent family of Latvian Jews, a wealthy handful of people living amidst widespread Jewish misery, an elegant young woman whose life was thrown into turmoil by the Bolshevik menace and whose escape reads like some figment of a thriller writer's imagination. But for her it was truth, not fiction." From the Foreword - Aubrey Rose
Vera: The Amazing Autobiography of Vera Chesno - Lennard Publishing 2002 - Available from Amazon