I love this wonderfully engaging book, which reminds me of Gogol at
his best. I love the characters, their whimsy and intensity; I love
the dialogue, which is in a class of its own; I am interested in the
family relationships, the complex bonding between mothers and daughters,
sister and sister. It is absorbing and consistently alive. What an accomplishment.
All this plus important issues under discussion, weighty matters such
as death and dying, saying goodbye, making peace with the living and
the dead, rekindling a spiritual center in an ancient tradition. And
then the ending, the wonderful narrative twist that comes straight out
of the best of Jewish story-telling. Did I say how much I love this
IN MY MOTHER'S HOUSE; EDGEWORK BOOKS
too often, novels with a Jewish theme seem to reflect the theory that
the reader doesn't know much about Judaism or Jewish law and its intricacies.
The Talmud and other rabbinic literature are usually introduced in order
to make the "authentic" claim: i.e., that this particular
novel is substantially based on Jewish legal tradition. DAUGHTER steers
clear of simplistic Jewish views; instead, it tackles difficult mainstream
issues with solid rabbinic grounding. Twists and turns abound in this
account of two daughters and the death of their mother. Issues of daughter/mother,
cremation, filial obligation, sibling tension, ritual (along with the
usual family complexities) fill the pages. Not one to steer away from
the struggle with such heavy issues, Ms. Silverstein captures the tension
inherent in each of these issues by defining the stress, thereby described
through a quite understandable incident and theme. The author's style
is smooth and fluid, making for an easy and surprising read. Laced with
Hebraisms, Yiddishisms, and New Yorkese, the read feels at home with
the familiar cultural tugs. All in all, thematic exposition and accuracy
for detail and purely enjoyable reading make this novel a winner. It
is a joy to read. "
Congregation Netivot Shalom
heroine of Lois Silverstein's rich and witty novel is truly a master
of return. As a child, she felt herself considered 'Miss Take' by her
family, but now, just past fifty, she believes in the power of change.
Never losing either her sense of humor or the round metal urn containing
her mother's ashes slung over her shoulder in a string bag, she negotiates
with her older sister, her dead mother, the undertaker and the Rabbi,
and of course, as did Abraham, with the God of Israel, and I'm sure
you'll agree, she earns the right to say Kaddish at her mother's graveside."
-Ellen Spolsky, Ph.D., Director Lechter Literary Institute, Bar-Ilan
Author of SATISFYING SKEPTICISM et al