Saturday, October 9, 2021

Holli Kenley Reviews Dr. Bob Rich's Aniko


Title             Anikó: The stranger who loved me

Author           Dr. Bob Rich

Publisher              Anina’s Book Company

ISBN            1-877053-16-3


 Reviewer    Holli Kenley

Reviewer’s website 

Holli Kenley Reviews Dr. Bob Rich's Aniko

A Generational Story of Love and Loyalty and the Losses Within Each

   When I began reading Ankió: The Stranger Who Loved Me, I was eager to devour a biography. Knowing it was a generational story of a Jewish family set in Hungary during World War II, I prepared myself for an intense and intriguing read. Dr. Bob Rich delivers on every level. I could go on and on about the incredible depth of research into his mother’s life and how it was exquisitely and intricately woven into complex historical events of the time. I could share how much I learned from the unearthing of one family’s saga during the horrors of the Holocaust and of wartime atrocities, but after finishing Anikó, I took away so much more.

   Viewing this biography from the lens of a marriage and family therapist as well as someone who knows the heartache and heartbreak of a broken family, I was drawn into the lives of every character – not just Anikó. For me, this was a story of a woman’s profound love – for her husbands, her children, her relatives, her work, and for herself. And yet, those strong bonds of passion carried with them demands for attention and time, revealing the damage resulting from prioritized and competing loyalties.

   I found myself connecting with Robi (Bob) and his brother József, especially as children and adolescents. Secure attachments to parental figures are imperative to healthy developmental growth. In the absence of unconditional love, acceptance, and belonging (especially from Anti), both boys struggled with emotional detachment and grief, as they weighed their love for their mother and from her against her loyalties to people and things which served her. As children and young adults, these “losses” are hard to identify and understand. Later in life, they are even harder to reconcile and accept.

   I admire the raw openness with which Dr. Rich shares this generational story. As I concluded the book, my heart was warmed that Bob did not succumb to bitterness or resentment. And I was moved by the power of his resilience. In choosing a path of perseverance, Bob drew upon his strength, courage, and commitment to wellness in leading a life of authenticity, integrity, and purpose.

   Anikó is, as I stated, so much more than a biography. It is a story of love and loyalty and the losses within each. And it is the story of one man surviving all of it.

Holli Kenley, MA is the author of several powerful books on surviving childhood trauma, includingDaughters Betrayed By Their Mothers: Moving From Brokenness To Wholeness.

More About the Author
Dr Bob Rich is an avid environmentalist. Learn more about all his books at
He tweets @bobswriting.
His mottoes:  "Commit random acts of kindness
Live simply so you may simply live" 

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