Monday, June 02, 2008

AWAY by Amy Bloom (2007)

I haven't read anything by Amy Bloom, but picked up AWAY because my friend Joe (a discerning reader and all round nice guy) recommended it.

Protagonist Lillian Leyb comes to America in 1924 after her family has been destroyed during a pogrom in Russia. Determined to make a new life for herself, Lillian finds work as a seamstress in a Yiddish theatre company in New York. Soon she finds herself living with the handsome, but gay, leading man to serve as a cover for him while she beds his own father who is fully aware that his only son is a fagola.

Lillian's life is turned upside down once again when her cousin arrives and tells her that her 4 year-old daughter Sophie is believed to be alive and living with former neighbours who rescued her. That news leads to Lillian's determined departure and journey to find her Sophie that finds her relying on the kindness of strangers including a prostitute in Seattle, a widower in Alaska and self-proclaimed bachelor who tends to her wounds.

Lillian encounters such tenderness in the most unexpected places and it is that emotional truth that kept me turning the pages to the satisfying end.

No comments: