Like the layers of earth that accumulate from generation to generation, the layers of a family's story, constantly impacted by the effects of erosion and destruction, build, break down, and build up again. Eventually all the layers intermingle.Bocholt, Germany, 1938: The son of textile and clothing store owners, Walter Stern was a young boy when Hitler came to power. As violence against Jews escalated, Walter's father began smuggling money into Holland, carefully hiding rolled up bills under his bicycle seat. When their shop is destroyed during Kristallnacht, the night of shattered glass, the family is forced to flee the country, narrowly avoiding capture while crossing into Holland. After his father and uncle are arrested-and later sent to their deaths at Auschwitz-Walter, with his mother and grandmother, find refuge in a cramped corner of a farmer's attic, where Walter listens to the BBC to break the monotony and paints to dull the fear. They are liberated after 909 days in the attic. Massachusetts, 2016: In the wake of a tumultuous election and the rise of antisemitic and racist hate crimes across the country, Irene Stern Frielich feels compelled to better understand her father's past. Armed with letters, documents, and her father's archival video testimony made in 1993, months before his passing, Irene painstakingly maps out her ancestors' route to safety. In 2018, accompanied by her husband and oldest son, she travels to Germany, a place to which her father swore he would never return. Over the course of three trips to Germany and Holland, Irene connects with the current owner of her family's clothing shop, shares tears with the grandson of the Dutch farmer who kept Walter safe, and fights for her family's story to be remembered. As she follows the exact path her family used when fleeing for survival, she reflects on how the past leaves an indelible mark on future generations. Thoughtfully researched and poignantly written, Shattered Stars, Healing Hearts is a love letter to generations lost, a testament to the importance of memory, and a powerful reminder that we can always find our way home in the most unexpected places.