Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Book Review: Away by Amy Bloom

A Beautiful Book that Spans Worlds and Cultures


What will a mother do to find her daughter?

Lillian Leyb fled Russia after the pogroms that took away her entire family to start a new life. The book opens with her trying to assimilate in America, specifically in the Lower East Side, and find work as a seamstress at the Yiddish Theater to begin to pay her own way. What she finds there is opportunity, not just with a job, but as a mistress. She is battered and still numb from her past experiences and is just trying to find her way.

All this changes when a cousin from her old life finds her and tells her that she knows Lillian's daughter is still alive and was not killed as Lillian thought. Lillian immediately begins a desperate plan to find her which will involve getting back into Russia, specifically Siberia.

So begins Lillian's long difficult journey across the United States from New York to Seattle, and then up north to Alaska to try and cross the waters into Siberia. For a young woman just getting acclimated she must learn to continue to change in so many ways and comes across so many different types of people and cultures. Having a mission in mind Lillian must also constantly challenge herself to see things differently and to engage in behaviors that she never imagined.

This book is really amazing, watching everything Lillian is willing to endure. Without spoiling the ending, I can tell you it doesn't go exactly like I thought it would but was no less wonderful. . . I really enjoyed this book and will look for more by this author.

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