Chains around the Grass

Chains around the Grass

by Naomi Ragen
     
 

"Sara is barely six years old when her beloved father unexpectedly vanishes from her life. Her mother, Ruth, a dreamy and reluctant housewife, is now left with three small children to bring up, and the knowledge that she will somehow have to pick up the pieces, if she is to survive and fend for the family. But Sara takes up a vigil at the window of their dismal… See more details below

Overview

"Sara is barely six years old when her beloved father unexpectedly vanishes from her life. Her mother, Ruth, a dreamy and reluctant housewife, is now left with three small children to bring up, and the knowledge that she will somehow have to pick up the pieces, if she is to survive and fend for the family. But Sara takes up a vigil at the window of their dismal apartment, refusing to accept that her father won't be coming back." To this bitter-sweet and moving tale of childhood and the loss of innocence, the best-selling author of Jephte's Daughter, Sotah, the Sacrifice of Tamar and The Ghost of Hannah Mendes, brings the added intensity of a personal memoir. This is Naomi Ragen at her best, her writing charged with a searing, emotional truth as she unravels a tale of childhood, betrayal and the unending resilience of family love.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Based on novelist Ragen's own experiences growing up in an ethnically mixed low-income housing project in the Rockaways, this novel opens a window into the bittersweet world of the Markowitz family as they struggle to make ends meet in 1950s New York City. A first-generation Jewish immigrant with incredible reserves of optimism and ambition, David Markowitz trades in his religious identity for the promised gold of America, believing that "if you really wanted to, if you worked your can off, you could not only get out of Brooklyn, but get Brooklyn out of you." After being conned into making a bad investment that leaves him and his family financially and emotionally bankrupt, David dies suddenly. For the first time in her life, his wife, Ruth, must take sole responsibility for her three children, something that seems overwhelmingly difficult. Ruth manages to enroll her eldest son, Jesse, and her daughter, Sara, at a private Jewish day school. Sara embraces her educational and spiritual environment and finds hope and self-renewal in the form of her parents' lost religion. But Jesse, to his mother's dismay, refuses to attend the school and instead self-educates himself in business so that he can fulfill his father's vision of success. Terrorizing his mother with his unreasonable plans and propositions, he self-destructs. Ragen (The Ghost of Hannah Mendes; Sotah) elaborates on her usual themes, extolling the comforting power of faith in a hostile modern world. Working with familiar characters, plot and setting, she crafts a comforting if somewhat shopworn tale of family, hope, religion and the dark side of the American dream. (Jan. 28) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The fifth from American-born Ragen (The Ghost of Hannah Mendes, 1998, etc.), a resident of Israel for the past 30 years, draws on her childhood to tell the poignant story of Sara, a young girl who also grew up in low-income housing in New York City.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781902881539
Publisher:
Toby Press LLC, The
Publication date:
10/01/2002
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.76(w) x 8.82(h) x 0.95(d)

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