As a young girl growing up in Albania, Angela is insulated from the poverty and rising political tensions in her homeland by her mother’s loving, protective presence. But when Angela is nine years old, a series of events is set in motion that will forever change the course of her life—as well as her mother’s.
Fearing for her daughter’s safety, Angela’s mother, Nexhi, makes the heartrending decision to send Angela to live with her father in Switzerland, where he had fled a few years earlier once Communism began to collapse.
Reflecting on the lessons of her childhood and the wonderful example set before her, Angela is inspired by her mother’s efforts to bridge the divide between cultures, a lifetime of work that will have a lasting legacy, and by her abiding belief in love despite being married three times—twice to the same man!
As much a tribute to the author’s beloved mother as it is a personal memoir, Love. Hope. Light. is a multigenerational story of tenacity and the resilient power of love and family to overcome adversity.
Excerpts from Love. Hope. Light.
“…they were caught in the middle of an outbreak of
gunfire—first hearing the gunshots crack the air and then
actually seeing the bullets whirring past. They took shelter as best they could alongside a building, pressing themselves against the structure and hoping they wouldn’t end up casualties of gun-toting civilians.”
“I cannot purport to understand what made Rita treat me as she did, but there I was in Switzerland, alone with her for hours each afternoon, a prisoner in that apartment, in a sort of solitary confinement for a significant stretch of time every single day.”
“As happy as she was in her new life, she couldn’t help but feel a measure of guilt. There must be something she could do to help—in her own way—improve the lives of others in the process of living her own. But, she wondered, what could it be?”
“You can’t get an O-one visa,” said Fadil. “If you’d won a Nobel Prize? Yes. If you were Gandhi? Yes. If you were J. K. Rowling? Maybe. Miss Albania? Not going to happen.”
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Helping the Youth
My mother’s name is Nexhmije Ibrahimi Nussbaumer, and I am a living testament to her philosophies. Chief among them is her belief that nothing is finished until there is a happy ending—until you reach the light.