An Interview With the Author: Eve Monk

Eve Monk 2020

Every time I sit down with my grandmother, or my Grammy as she is known, I can expect a number of things: to be offered an absolutely absurd amount of snacks, to be blown away by her energy and drive even at age 91, and to be baffled by her continual kindness and compassion towards every member of the family.

PC: Joe Monk, Berlin, Germany: Eve taking a picture of me taking a photo atop the Berlin Cathedral in June 2014. She returns to Germany every few years with members of the family to visit those family members still living in her homeland. I was lucky enough to go with my immediate family in 2014 for almost two weeks and can’t wait to return!

You may be interested to know that most of my family – which consists of 31 when we gather in strength – didn’t know the full extent of my grandmother’s story.

When she asked me to be one of the first people to read Twenty-Three Years I was obviously honored, but at the same time was worried about the job that I would do. I was worried about what I’d find within the memoir’s pages. I was worried about my ability to discuss the things with her that would need to be discussed.

In the end, we made it through and have become closer as a result. I’m elated both to be able to help her with the website moving forward and to expand on the story of Twenty-Three Years in a meaningful way.

The Interview: About the Book

Joe: What do you hope people gain by reading your book?

Eve: “This above all, to thine own self be true.” – William Shakespeare

That children who grow up in a strict but very kind and loving family will be prepared to face and conquer the trials and problems they encounter throughout life. In addition to what comes from a good home life, a deep faith in and respect for life, can give rise to unexpected strength.

And lastly, that material things matter very little in the big scheme of things. They are not essential for a happy life.

Joe: Why did you decide to write the book?

Eve: My granddaughter at age 16 asked me to tell her something about my childhood.

I compiled my thoughts and told her about my happy childhood – both all the naughty and all the nice things, but also how watching the Polish Jews being herded out of Germany by the Nazis left permanent scars on my young life.

She continually insisted that the world needed to know that the German people too, suffered under Nazi rule and war. They did indeed,  however, the post-war period brought no end to their suffering, trials, and tribulations or mine.

That’s why the memoir continues past the point when the bombs ceased falling.

Joe: When did you start writing? How long did it take to complete the first draft?

Eve: I started writing late in 2015, and it took only a few short months to finish my story. It was easy, being curled up on the couch, and just letting my story flow from the pen as I relived it.

Joe: Did you aim to complete a set number of pages or words each day?

Eve: Absolutely not: whatever flowed, flowed. A special day’s events, for example, a special trip, school incident, or anything else could set the writing wheel in motion. The story didn’t necessarily come together in chronological order.

Joe: Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

Eve: I am not a reader of books, but I am a reader for information. Yes, I do read a lot if I have the time: mostly newspapers and magazines, including a French and a German one.

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