The Heirs: A Novel

The Heirs: A Novel

by Fran Hawthorne
The Heirs: A Novel

The Heirs: A Novel

by Fran Hawthorne


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For 50 years, Eleanor Ritter’s mother Rose has refused to talk about how she survived the Holocaust in Poland and ended up in New Jersey. But now – just as Rose breaks her hip and starts speaking in long-forgotten Polish – Eleanor learns that the parents of her nine-year-old son’s new friend are Polish Catholics, born and raised in that country. Eleanor starts digging into both families’ stories, jeopardizing her already shaky relationships with her mother, her husband, and her children, even as her obsession pushes her to confront the existential questions of American Jews – indeed, of any group that has faced historical persecution: How many generations does guilt carry on? What did your grandparents do to my grandparents? 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781622882304
Publisher: Stephen F. Austin University Press
Publication date: 05/11/2018
Pages: 238
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.54(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

FRAN HAWTHORNE has spent more than three decades writing award-winning nonfiction, including eight books, mainly about consumer activism and business social responsibility. Her book Ethical Chic: The Inside Story of the Companies We Think We Love (Beacon Press) was named one of the best books of 2012 by Library Journal. In addition, she’s been an editor and writer (staff and freelance) at BusinessWeek, Fortune, The New York Times, Newsday, and other newspapers and magazines,and she reviews fiction for The New York Journal of Books. The Heirs is her debut novel.

What People are Saying About This

fiction editor of Lilith magazine - Yona Zeldis McDonough

"With grace, precision and infinite tenderness, Hawthorne limns the dilemma of the so-called sandwich generation, caught between rambunctious, rebellious children and declining parents. Here is a wise, thoughtful novel to savor and an author to watch--and love."

author of A Twist of Hate - V.R. Barkowski

“In THE HEIRS, Fran Hawthorne skillfully weaves an intimate and compelling portrait of Eleanor Ritter, a woman whose growing obsession with her family's experiences during the Holocaust threatens to derail her life more than fifty years later. Both heartbreaking and hopeful, THE HEIRS vividly lays bare the injustice of a legacy of guilt, and the danger of holding the present accountable for our past.”

New York regional director of the Anti-Defamation League & former president of the Center for Jewish History - Joel Levy

"THE HEIRS is an engrossing and thoroughly American novel, describing perfectly family life in today's suburban New Jersey, but with a twist. Although the story takes place just before the turn of the Millennium, the characters keep slipping back to the family's past in Poland during the Holocaust. This is the story of immigrants -- Jews, Catholics and all of us -- whose children and grandchildren remain tied to the suffering and struggles which brought them to America."

the New York correspondent for the major Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz - Debra Nussbaum Cohen

“Fran Hawthorne's debut novel, set just as the 20th century is slipping into the 21st, is a wonderfully engaging read. Whether it is her annoyingly perfect cousin, her elderly Holocaust survivor mother's newly broken hip, her pre-bat mitzvah daughter and un-athletic young son, or her non-Jewish husband whose work with computers keeps him constantly at the office, all that pressure on the protagonist, Eleanor Ritter, leads to things which have long stayed buried starting to ooze out. Many readers — especially women — will relate to Eleanor's struggles and see in them their own.”

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