A Daughter Brought to Life - by Jay Nordlinger

David Horowitz’s unusual new memoir.


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David Horowitz has done what few could do: He has written a memoir of a child of his who died (age 44); and he has brought it off beautifully. A Cracking of the Heart makes for raw reading at times, but it also makes for thought-provoking and uplifting reading. It is a very unusual book, written by an unusual man — about an unusual woman — and when I say “unusual,” I mean something positive, no doubt.

Horowitz will need no introduction to readers of National Review Online. A leader of the New Left, he became a leader of the fighting Reaganite Right. He is a thinker and a doer, an intellectual and an activist. His mind ranges widely, and so do his books. He has written about politics and policy, of course. But he has also written about matters literary, cultural, and spiritual. His 2005 book, The End of Time, is a meditation on mortality. A Cracking of the Heart is a meditation too, plus other things.

Sarah Rose Horowitz — the second of David’s four children — died in March 2008. Several years before, her beloved aunt Barbara died: and her rabbi told her, “Pay attention to the ways in which your relationship continues.” That is part of what David is doing in this book.

She spent much of her time writing, did Sarah Horowitz, producing poems, stories, articles, notes of various kinds. But she published very little. She is certainly published now, as her father stocks this memoir with the writings she left behind. Indeed, she is a co-author of this book, often its main voice.

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