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That night at our ryokan, a small, traditional, Japanese hotel on a narrow street in Kyoto, I lay awake on my tatami mat, letting the ancient and modern spirit of Japan wash over me. I thought about my connection to my own past. I wondered if the fierce determination of my grandfather and great-grandfather that impelled them to leave Russia during a time of Jewish persecution and make a new life in America lived inside me. 

I wondered if my mother's creative spirit now belonged to me, along with my father's dreams of achievement. I wondered how I could find my own path to enlightenment, allowing me to embrace life and face death with courage and equanimity. I wondered how I could continue to grow in love and tolerance so that my friendships could flourish and David and I could remain life partners.

I wondered how the intuitive sense of what I thought and felt could become louder than any other voice. I realized that I didn't have the answers to many of these questions. I also knew that I would continue to ask them. 

Mirror Mirror is a collection of memoirs and stories by Stephanie Hart. Follow her blog and social media accounts for more details about her literary magazines and writings.

Beautiful,true,nostalgic Jewish family and a modern life in transition

Simply outstanding, beautifully written, moving, entertaining, true vignettes of a Jewish family, and associated interesting scenes in the author's own life. Rings true and clear -- you will feel you have honestly met a very interesting person up close after reading this book. I couldn't put it down.

Linda Strauss

Each story that she tells, in turn, vividly captures the most important, most traumatic, most wonderful, most pensive, most informing moments of her life. And who are we but a collection of all those moments?Beautifully written and mostly in chronological order, her first memory begins at the dinner table with her parents. The short, simple sentences in the Early Years section reflect a child's innate understanding of the tension in her family and the presentiment of things to come. The language and sentence structure matures as Hart does, and along the way, Hart draws us closer by time-stamping her life with pivotal memories that many of us share, i.e. Kennedy's election, his assassination, the opening of West Side Story, the New York skyline before the fall of the towers, the Vietnam war protests, the nation's fixation with the quirky soap opera, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.

Denise DeSio

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