Thursday, September 20, 2007

Away by Amy Bloom

This lovely novel was also a birthday gift from my husband. Amy Bloom is an author whose work I have admired for years - especially her short story collection A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You. This new novel is a sweeping saga that almost reminded me of an Amy Tan or Isabel Allende novel. Lillian Leyb finds herself in the tenements of the New York theater district in 1924 after escaping from Russian marauders who murdered her family. Her new life in the new world is turned upside down when she receives word that her daughter may still be alive in Russia. Lillian then begins a cross continent trek to Seattle, then Alaska, then, hopefully, home. The novel is episodic. In each locale, she is befriended by a genuine cast of characters. I savored the last pages of this beautiful novel in a way that I haven't any novel recently. Coincidentally, I read Amy Bloom's marriage announcement in last Sunday's New York Times.

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