Every House Needs a Balcony: A Novel

Every House Needs a Balcony: A Novel

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by Rina Frank
     
 

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An international bestseller and publishing phenomenon, Every House Needs a Balcony—dubbed the “Israeli Kite Runner” by The Bookseller—is the story of one family, one home, and the surprising arc of one woman’s life, from the poverty of her youth, to the glowing love and painful losses of her adult years. If youSee more details below

Overview

An international bestseller and publishing phenomenon, Every House Needs a Balcony—dubbed the “Israeli Kite Runner” by The Bookseller—is the story of one family, one home, and the surprising arc of one woman’s life, from the poverty of her youth, to the glowing love and painful losses of her adult years. If you enjoy the novels of Dalia Sofer (The Septembers of Shiraz), Amos Oz (My Michael, A Tale of Love and Darkness), and A.B. Yehoshua (Mr Mani), you’ll find much to love in Rina Frank’s beautiful and bittersweet Every House Needs a Balcony.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
An Israeli with Romanian ancestry charts her own and her extended family's history in an unsettling split-screen narrative. Below the surface of a character-heavy tale of migration, resettlement and young marriage, Frank riffs on character, fortune, roots and above all home. Her narrator, Rina, is both a child amid a colorful group of impoverished immigrants in Haifa and the young woman who falls in love with a Spanish architect whose wealthy family she visits in Barcelona. Alternating between first- and third-person voices, the story is delivered in discrete installments a little like short stories. First-person Rina describes life in an overcrowded apartment block abandoned by Arabs where she grows up among quirky relatives in the shadow of her older, smarter sister. Rina's adult story, delineated in an unanalytical authorial voice, is a numb account of failed romance: the wooing, the wedding, the pregnancy and the birth of an acutely ill child whose care needs come to dominate the relationship. As the book closes, its two strands may have reached proximity, but the gulf between the early domestic episodes in Haifa, sometimes dark but usually animated and engaged, and the increasingly downbeat account of Rina's marriage is never bridged. Near-sighted and oddly uninviting.
Publishers Weekly
In her first English translation, Israeli author Frank offers a captivating roman à clef told, in part, by a stubborn eight-year-old girl named Rina, whose family emigrates from Romania to Haifa, Israel, following WWII. Living in poor conditions with two other families in a small three-room apartment, Rina and her older—and wiser, and more practical—sister take pleasure in repainting game tiles, bathing once a week, and picking out third-hand blouses from America. The sisters connect with their diverse city from their balcony, which gives them a view into even less fortunate lives. Interspersed with Rina’s childhood memories, a third-person narrative follows the adult Rina as she falls in love with a handsome Spaniard from a well-to-do family, marries him, moves to Barcelona, and returns to Israel to give birth. Though Rina’s spunky personality (and her sister’s sound advice) remain consistent throughout, Frank’s cunning use of the intermittent first person reveals Rina’s childhood in parts, meaning that readers come to understand the grown Rina’s actions only gradually. (June)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061997990
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/08/2010
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
390,892
File size:
0 MB

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