- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Most Helpful Favorable Review
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.
Lily Azerov comes to Canada from Israel in 1946 to marry a man s
Lily abandons her new family when Ruth is a tiny baby, leavin...
Lily abandons her new family when Ruth is a tiny baby, leaving tidbits of information about who she was and why she left that Ruth has to piece together over the course of her life. As Ruth grows and evolves, she learns that curiosity about her origins is the most human thing about herself. It only takes her as long as it does because so may people love Ruth and think they're protecting her by not revealing what they know. None of the decisions are judged in the book as good or bad. They just are.
As I grew to suspect as I read on, the entire book is revealed to have been written by Ruth after she's pieced together enough information. This explains why the sections told in the first person, from Ruth's point of view, are quite a bit more stable than the others. By stable, I mean that when we're in Ruth's point of view, we stay there. In the other sections, two or more characters can have a conversation and see into the thoughts of all of them. It's easy enough to follow, but I always think it's more realistic if we only have one point of view at a time. And think how much more mystery there could have been! In the end, it's appropriate that Ruth would try to empathize with each of the characters and parse their emotional responses as the story goes along. It lends an authority to the text that it could never really have if these were true events, but that just shows the way fiction is truer than fact.
The author has created an entire convincing world. She tells a story about survival and secrets that normally wouldn't be told, but it touches all human beings. The characters are fascinating and familiar at the same time, and the writing is frequently exquisite. I recommend this book for just about any reader.
posted by JessicaKnauss on January 30, 2013Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 22, 2013
What could be more heart-breaking than to arrive in a strange to
What could be more heart-breaking than to arrive in a strange town after a grueling journey, only to find those you hoped would greet and accept you warmly reject you? Such is the beginning of this novel. Nancy Richler holds us spell-bound in a trance showing us the pain of rejection, and then the humility of being taken up by another in a town that has its "eye" on you. I was cringing and feeling for the protagonist from the start. But, more than that, I was caught up in the beautiful writing of this author.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
This is a psychological novel of loss and redemption. We are told bits and pieces of the story through the characters, but mostly through the eyes of Lily's daughter, Ruth. Throughout the novel, the author focuses on the emotional and psychological responses of her characters to the situations they find themselves in. She highlights mother-daughter relationships throughout. She also focuses on the cultural "heritage" and abuse the Jewish community has experienced through the horrors of WWII.
Nancy Richler is an author whom I highly regard. Her style is strong and her prose is beautiful. I love the strength with which she draws Lily. Lily is not a victim of her time and circumstances, rather she is a heroine, a strong and educated woman, and a woman who chooses her path in life. While her choices are not always those all of us would make, we still recognize the courage and will to survive in Lily. Richler examines this spirit of humanity in the face of what seems or is real impending "death," whether physical, emotional or psychological. An amazing study. Lily's resilient spirit is seen, as well, in Ruth's tenacity to find the mystery of who her mother was and why she left her as a child.
While I started out thinking this was just another book about a WWII refugee war bride, I came away with much more. This is a novel I can strongly recommend for the reasons stated above. The story is captivating, but the writing is amazing!
5 stars Deborah/TheBookishDame
Posted February 25, 2013
Posted February 10, 2013
Posted April 30, 2013
No text was provided for this review.