In the summer of '76, the Shulmans and the Melishes migrate to Kaaterskill, the tiny town in upstate New York where Orthodox Jews and Yankee year-rounders live side by side from June through August. Elizabeth Shulman, a devout follower of Rav Elijah Kirshner and the mother of five daughters, is restless. She needs a project of her own, outside her family and her cloistered community. Across the street, Andras Melish is drawn to Kaaterskill by his adoring older sisters, bound to him by their loss and wrenching escape from the Holocaust. Both comforted and crippled by his sisters' love, Andras cannot overcome the ambivalence he feels toward his children and his own beautiful wife. At the top of the hill, Rav Kirshner is coming to the end of his life, and he struggles to decide which of his sons should succeed him: the pious but stolid Isaiah, or the brilliant but worldly Jeremy. Behind the scenes, alarmed as his beloved Kaaterskill is overdeveloped by Michael King, the local real estate broker, Judge Miles Taylor keeps an old secret in check, biding his time....
About the Author
Allegra Goodman's first collection, "Total Immersion", was published in 1989. Her work has appeared in "The New Yorker" and "Commentary", and has been selected for "Prize Stories 1995", "The 0. Henry Awards", and other anthologies. She lives with her family in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Praise for Allegra Goodman:
"The brushstrokes seemingly casual yet sure, always the exact—and unlikely—equivalent of a shadow or reflected gleam."—Anna Shapiro, New York Newsday
"An astonishing display of virtuosity."—Los Angeles Times on Total Immersion
"Exceptionally well written: funny, wise, keenly observed....One of the most maddening and recognizable families to come along in years...an enchanting book."—Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times on The Family Markowitz