Thirty Years Hence a novel softcover by Denise Beck-Clark 2021
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A story of two women in NYC in 1973: Michelle Cooper, age twenty three, is despairing and without direction, having barely survived the turbulent household of her parents, and her own adolescent foray into sixties’ hippiedom. Forty-something Ida Birnbaum, a Queens, NY wife and mother, and survivor of Auschwitz concentration camp, thirty years later battles her own malaise during a serious and potentially damaging midlife crisis. Like many folks during the so-called “Me Decade”, both Michelle and Ida indulge in hedonistic and self-destructive activities and then must deal with the consequences. They each turn for support to their evolving friendship and to characters such as Theo, an idealistic young immigrant who lives in an Upper West Side SRO hotel and works for a telephone prayer service run by Charles, another Holocaust survivor, and self-fashioned spiritual guru. Both Michelle and Ida, Ida’s husband, and even Paul, a white supremacist who stalks Michelle after a one-night stand, seek psychological healing via another of Charles’ creations. The Rogen Treatment Program is a unique process wherein participants “experience” the Holocaust and, through a kind of aversion therapy, conquer their respective individual demons.