Home Web system Salisbury author’s book ‘Snowflake on a Spider’s Web’ is inspired by her grandmother’s secret | WFAE 90.7

Salisbury author’s book ‘Snowflake on a Spider’s Web’ is inspired by her grandmother’s secret | WFAE 90.7


Salisbury resident Patti Laughlin Fogt is a travel nurse. She records veterans’ stories for the Library of Congress and she also wrote a book called “Snowflake on a Spider’s Web”. It takes place during World War II and the Holocaust. The novel deals with historical events of this period and it is also a love story between families and a young couple trying to find peace during stressful times. Fogt says the idea for the book came from his interest in history and his grandmother’s legacy.

Patti Fogt: I found out my grandmother was Jewish later in life, probably in her thirties, and I wanted to honor my grandmother and honor Jewish traditions. So I started studying the Holocaust, World War II, the Jewish religion and I went to the temple to understand what my grandmother would have said to me if she had felt comfortable telling me. say.

Gwendolyn Glenn: Now, did your grandmother go through the Holocaust? Was she in a concentration camp? And why didn’t she tell anyone she was Jewish?

Fog : We don’t know everything she went through because she didn’t tell us. And she was from that period, from World War II, that something happened to her, that it was so monumental that she couldn’t even tell us that she was Jewish. She did not practice it because of fear. She didn’t want us to go through everything she had been through. And that’s all I could get from my dad, who told me the story later in life.

Glen: How did you find out she was Jewish?

Fog : Well, it’s funny because at Christmas she had this light that was in her front window. And it was later that I realized it was the menorah. I just thought it was a Christmas decoration on my youth. And I asked my dad about it and he said, yeah, she was Jewish.

Glen: Well, let’s come to the book itself. Where is the frame?

Fog : Tokaji, Hungary. This is wine country. It is crossed by a river. They have volcanic soil! And that’s what makes wine so special.

Glen: And it’s all in your book. There is the family that owns the cellar and the volcanic soil, then there is a family that owns a butcher shop. And then there is the couple who fall in love. Tell us a bit about these two.

Fog : They met by the river in this small town and she was trying to paint — she’s an artist. And you find out later in the story that he’s a world-class violist. And they end up falling in love, and they’re both Jewish and it’s very, very dark in parts and very light in parts and very human.

Glen: There are a lot of wonderful moments where there’s a lot of laughter, where the families are so close and have all these parties with dancing and humor – but in the middle of it all, they’re also talking about war. And I love how you start each chapter with music. In the first chapter, it says “Somewhere over the rainbow”, Judy Garland. “Strange Fruit”, Billie Holiday. Then you have a history note: “The Double Alliance was an alliance between Austria-Hungary and Germany, which was created by treaty, October 7, 1879, as part of the German alliance system Otto von Bismarck to prevent war.” Chapter Two, “Jeepers Creepers”, Louis Armstrong with Orchestra. “Long Gone Blues”, Billie Holiday. Then you talk about how Hitler’s orders planned the five-year naval expansion program. How did you come to this idea ? I love it, I think it works very well.

Fog : Thanks a lot. I researched the period so much that I wanted the music to be involved because the main character, a male character, is a world-class violist. And music is very important to this family. And when you hear music, it jogs your memory — that exact moment when you first heard that song. And I arranged the songs in the order of the years that followed the succession of the book. Judy Garland’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was popular the same year Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” was popular.

Glen: And “Strange Fruit” referred to lynching and sometimes he was even forbidden to do so. And then you add the story – as these people, as you say, go about their lives and fall in love and reap their grapes and all that, all of this serious history is happening in terms of the Holocaust and World War II.

Fog : Exactly. Isn’t that true for us, in almost every period of human life, there’s this juxtaposition of horror and terror that goes on in the world. You know, we’re looking at Ukraine now. Life goes on for the people there, but horrible things are happening around them. And yet there is a part of us that still has love in the world. That’s right – parallel to almost all generations. And that’s what was happening in this generation. Sad, horrible things. And yet love, wonderful things is.

Glen: You could go to page 92. The characters, Edgar and Eva. And you write about when they decide to leave the area and the war is getting closer and closer. And they’re on the train and they’re approaching Munich and they’re terrified because the Nazis got on the train to see who’s Jewish and who’s not. So if you could read that to us.

Fog : Eva made sure her hair was fully covered with a headscarf to protect her from being recognized as Jewish. She did not make eye contact with the Nazi. Edgar would speak for her. The soldier took his whip and slapped it on his forehead, pushing back his scarf to reveal his thick black hair. Edgar wanted to beat him, knock him down and whip him where he would never see him again. Well-understood wisdom and restraint stopped him in his tracks. The soldier looked Eva in the eyes and gave her a menacing growl. She stood firm as a rock on the outside, dying on the inside, hoping that this moment would pass as soon as possible. Displeased, the soldier fell back into line with all the other soldiers. He had to be responsible. He made them all get off the train. He left an indelible mark on Eva and Edgar. They would be more alert and attentive if something like this happened again.

Glen: And one of the songs you have for this chapter is “I’ll Remember”. And like they said, it was something they would never forget.

Fog : Exactly. Exactly.

Salisbury resident Patti Laughlin Fogt’s novel is titled “Snowflake on a Spider’s Web”. She will have a book signing on July 1st at the Mean Mug Coffee in Salisbury on July 2n/a at Mean Mug Coffee in Charlotte, and a reading of her novel at the Hemingway Festival in Key West, Florida in mid-July.