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July 31, 2022: Jill Kandel, "The Clean Daughter"

Jill Kandel and the book cover for The Clean Daughter

Sunday, July 31, at 5pm:

"The Clean Daughter" is a memoir about a fulfilling cross-cultural marriage that is challenged by a family member's mortally serious life decision. This discussion, with Jill Kandel and Bill Thomas, was done as part of the One Book One North Dakota series from HumanitiesND.

This is from the publisher, NDSU Press. "Any marriage is complicated, but one where two people grow up speaking different languages and abiding by different cultural codes presents unique challenges. Insert a demanding father-in-law, a healthy man who inexplicably ends his life by means of legalized euthanasia.

"When Jill Kandel married Johan, a man from the Netherlands, she never imagined the influence her father-in-law, Izaak, would hold over her life. Beneath his calm demeanor and clerical garb, Izaak carried the wounds of growing up in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands. Childhood chaos led him to become a man who had all the answers. For everyone. Except himself.

"Izaak ended his own life—while still a healthy man—using legalized euthanasia in the Netherlands. The long tumultuous relationship between daughter-in-law and father-in-law was over. But Kandel couldn’t move on. Ten years later, still exhausted by thoughts of Izaak, she returned to the Netherlands to search for understanding.

"The Clean Daughter is a story about building family across cultural, linguistic, and geographical divides. The complicated ways families both destroy and heal one another underpin Kandel’s story of a family held together by tenacity, curiosity, and courage."

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