Veronica’s Grave

Veronica’s Grave

Veronica’s Grave: A Daughter’s Memoir

Barbara Bracht Donsky






When Barbara Bracht’s mother disappears, no one tells the young girl that her mother has died. Rather, she is left a confused child whose father is intent upon erasing any memory of the mother. Forced to keep the secret of their mother’s existence from her younger brother, Barbara struggles to keep from being crushed under the weight of family secrets as she comes of age and tries to educate herself, despite her father’s stance against women’s education.

A story of loss and resilience, Veronica’s Grave likewise shows the power of literature―fromLittle Orphan Annie and  Prince Valiant to the incomparable Nancy Drew―to offer hope where there is little. Touching the hearts of anyone who has dealt with loss at a young age, this story — painful to remember, too important to forget — offers the reader a clearer, more optimistic perspective on life.

Told with true literary sensibility, this captivating memoir asks us to consider what it is that parents owe their children, and how far a child need go to make things right for her family.


Mary Higgins Clark, author of more than 50 best-selling novels, including All Around the Town, Loves Music, Loves to Dance, and While My Pretty One Sleeps

Veronica’s Grave shows both the warmth of a loving family and the mistakes when secrets are kept. A compelling tale that gives wonderful insight to the readers.


Peter H. Kudler, M.D, Department of Psychiatry, NYU Langone Medical Center

Veronica’s Grave: A Daughter’s Memoir is a compelling account of how a young woman, confronted with the unexplained loss of her mother, relies on her own inner resources and determination to not only discover the family secret of who her mother was but, in the process, discovers her own self and her own unacknowledged potential.

Annette Libeskind Berkovits, author of In the Unlikeliest of Places: How Nachman Libeskind Survived the Nazis, Gulags, and Soviet Communism

Readers who melt reading about the good old days will be charmed by the protagonist, a girl named after Saint Barbara, who can’t shed her father’s insistence on calling her Bob. We learn that for her those days were neither charming, nor good. From the moment we meet some of the quaintly named characters like Betty, Dot, or Agnes, we know we have time traveled to the fifties and sixties. The Bronx streets of her working class family―Decatur and Webster Avenues, the Third Avenue El―are forever beloved by Barbara even when she manages the extraordinary feat of escaping her mundane existence. If you remember Buster Browns, Betsy Wetsy, five cent cigars, Necco wafers, and Elsie the Borden cow, or Bendix washers, you will find yourself on a wonderful nostalgic ride. But Barbara’s intelligence and persistence takes her on a journey far from her humble origins. You will cheer for her as she strolls confidently down Champs Elysees in her two piece jade green gabardine TWA uniform and later, as she dines on escargot at the romantic Le Coupe-Choux or sips a martini at the posh Algonquin Hotel in Manhattan.

Rita Gardiner, author of award-winning memoir Coconut Latitudes: Secrets, Storms, and Survival in the Caribbean

Donsky’s coming-of-age memoir is a vivid portrait of a remarkable life. It is a deft rendering that begins by inhabiting the shadows of a childhood lost, later illustrating a person becoming slowly visible to herself. The images and sounds of her New York neighborhoods―as well as the perfume-scented rues in the Paris she discovers as a young woman―are defining brushstrokes to complement and frame this remarkable story.