Publisher: Ecco (July 29, 2014)
A copy provided in exchange for an honest review
The Tiger’s Wife meets A History of Love in this inventive, lushly imagined debut novel that explores the intersections of family secrets, Jewish myths, the legacy of war and history, and the bonds between sisters.
When Eli Burke dies, he leaves behind a mysterious notebook full of stories about a magical figure named The White Rebbe, a miracle worker in league with the enigmatic Angel of Losses, protector of things gone astray, and guardian of the lost letter of the alphabet, which completes the secret name of God.
When his granddaughter, Marjorie, discovers Eli’s notebook, everything she thought she knew about her grandfather—and her family—comes undone. To find the truth about Eli’s origins and unlock the secrets he kept, she embarks on an odyssey that takes her deep into the past, from 18th century Europe to Nazi-occupied Lithuania, and back to the present, to New York City and her estranged sister Holly, whom she must save from the consequences of Eli’s past.
Interweaving history, theology, and both real and imagined Jewish folktales, The Angel of Losses is a family story of what lasts, and of what we can—and cannot—escape.
I will start by saying the jacket summary is quite misleading. I found the story to be nothing like the jacket description. The content of the narrative was so different from what I was expecting I was more than disappointed.
The intended audience will be a specific group enjoying philosophical, theological along with Jewish folktales. The writing was sound and I enjoyed the Jewish folklore.
My problem was how all of this failed to marry. I’m not a huge fan of theology/philosophy so this was off putting for me. Once again had the summary spelled this aspect out I would have passed on reading. The bones of a good story exist, you need to be an archeologist and dig for it….I pass.
I will not rate this book simply because I don’t want to discourage others from indulging or harm the author. I only wish the content was clearly spelled out so the unenthusiastic fans of the quasi philosophy genre could decline.
I do hope the publishers take note and/or the author. If the intention of the book is as is – PLEASE rewrite the jacket summary. If the book needs a decent dose of editing so all the material merges nicely by all means do so. As is, it’s a tad bit all over the place and isn’t my cup of joe.
Explore the book for yourself and determine if it’s for you or not, just proceed with caution.
About Stephanie Feldman
Stephanie Feldman is a graduate of Barnard College. She lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and her daughter.
Follow Stephanie’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, July 29th: The Relentless Reader
Wednesday, July 30th: Sammy the Bookworm
Thursday, July 31st: I’d Rather Be At The Beach
Monday, August 4th: A Night’s Dream of Books
Wednesday, August 6th: Book-alicious Mama
Thursday, August 7th: guiltless reading
Tuesday, August 12th: Back Porchervations
Thursday, August 14th: Spiced Latte Reads
Monday, August 18th: Broken Teepee
Thursday, August 21st: 100 Pages a Day … Stephanie’s Book
Saturday, August 23rd: Another Clean Slate
Monday, August 25th: Fiction Zeal
Tuesday, August 26th: A Bookish Way of Life
Wednesday, August 27th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Thursday, August 28th: A Bookish life
Monday, September 1st: Based on a True Story
Tuesday, September 2nd: The Avid Reader
Wednesday, September 3rd: Ryann Dannelly
Friday, September 5th: Not in Jersey
Monday, September 8th: Read Lately
Tuesday, September 9th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Wednesday, September 10th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Monday, September 15th: Sun Mountain Reviews
Tuesday, September 16th: Must Read Faster
Wednesday, September 17th: nightlyreading
Friday, September 19th: A Chick Who Reads
Monday, September 22nd: Kahakai Kitchen
Tuesday, September 23rd: Jorie Loves a Story
Friday, September 26th: Cici’s Theories