Coming To: A Midwestern Tale

Overview

Winner of the 2011 Florida Book Awards Bronze Medal for General Fiction.

On the eve of the Great Depression, the actress wife of a Jewish community leader fights against the pressures of tradition to preserve her own identity. Taking chances she never imagined - with cataclysmic consequences - Lillian Scharf pursues a radical option and gives the performance of her life in Caren Umbarger's finely crafted debut. This scintillating exploration of wealth and marriage, power and ...

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Coming To: A Midwestern Tale

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Overview

Winner of the 2011 Florida Book Awards Bronze Medal for General Fiction.

On the eve of the Great Depression, the actress wife of a Jewish community leader fights against the pressures of tradition to preserve her own identity. Taking chances she never imagined - with cataclysmic consequences - Lillian Scharf pursues a radical option and gives the performance of her life in Caren Umbarger's finely crafted debut. This scintillating exploration of wealth and marriage, power and betrayal, anti-Semitism and self-awareness is as relevant today as it was in the time of its setting. Emotionally devastating and altogether inspiring, COMING TO is an original and breathtaking panorama of the human heart, the desire for freedom, and the quest for an authentic voice.

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Editorial Reviews

Internet - Dr. Karen Pirnot - Readers Favorite
"... a fascinating and captivating story... this is a good read for women of any age wanting to attempt to understand how we got to where we are now."
St. Augustine Record - Anne Heymen - St. Augustine Record
"Wow. All I can say is if you don't have some down time don't start this book, because once you embark on your journey with Lillian Scharf you won't put the 226-page book down until you're finished. There's no question here why Caren Umbarger was awarded the bronze medal for general fiction in the 2011 Florida Book Awards... This is the kind of book which makes the reader rather sad when the story ends. But, what an ending!"
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781463786021
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/20/2011
  • Pages: 242
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

COMING TO is Caren Umbarger's first novel. She earned a BA in violin performance and has been a professional musician and string teacher since 1983. Caren grew up in Mason City, Iowa; taught and performed in Minneapolis for three decades; and is now the artistic director of a Florida youth orchestra program. She and her husband Paul, also a musician and artist, have five grown children. They live in St. Augustine with their two cats.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 2, 2011

    women of any age wanting to attempt to understand how we got to where we are now.

    Reviewed by Karen P. for Readers Favorite

    Lillian is an educated woman in late 1929. She is expected to do wifely and motherly tasks while serving the demanding needs of her Jewish husband in a small Midwestern town. After three years of marriage and a young daughter, Lillian feels alone and unfulfilled. She decides to seek her husband's permission to try out for a local theater production of The Wizard of Oz. There, Lillian meets and is attracted to the play's director who feels that Lillian is a talented and beautiful woman. Lillian fantasizes about being fulfilled with this man and it is not long before she decides whether to act upon her impulses of attraction.

    This is a book with many themes. There is a predominant theme of a modern woman attempting to deal with an archaic religion. There is a theme about a talented and motivated woman trapped within the confines of societal expectation. And, there is the time-tested theme of physical attraction and what, if anything, to do about it. All of these themes are interwoven in a fascinating and captivating story about an agonizing struggle towards personal fulfillment.

    Author Caren Umbarger develops her characters with enough depth so that the reader finds himself/herself wanting to take sides. Depending upon which character the reader identifies with, there is no good or bad; there is simply what is. There is the question of what to do and how best to do it and there is the nagging question of how it will all turn out when action is finally initiated. All in all, this is a good read for women of any age wanting to attempt to understand how we got to where we are now.

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