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Despite her pious husband's doubts, she does, in the form of a store catering to Kaaterskill's "summer people"--a community Goodman brings memorably to life. The Shulmans' neighbor Andras Melish, a Hungarian who fled World War II and a vanished world of assimilated European Jewry, struggles to understand his young Argentinian wife Nina, whose need for tradition grows with each passing year. The ailing Rav Kirshner must decide which son will carry on in his shoes: dutiful but plodding Isaiah or his brilliant but secular brother Jeremy. Andras and Nina's daughter befriends an Arab girl, while Elizabeth and Isaac's daughter dreams in secret of Israel. Meanwhile, the town's year-round residents observe the Orthodox newcomers with bewilderment and occasional dismay.
As she proved in a warm and funny 1996 collection of stories, The Family Markowitz, Goodman is an unparalleled observer of human nature. Here, she charts with quiet assurance the daily rhythms of Kaaterskill: the meals prepared and eaten, the Holy Days observed, the ebb and flow of married life. Goodman gets all the important details right; her children's dialogue, for instance, is unerring. Above all, however, she brings to the subject of religious life a seriousness and subtlety rarely found in recent fiction. Wise was the word used again and again to describe The Family Markowitz. Applied to Kaaterskill Falls, it is no less apt. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I enjoyed reading this book. It was fun to recall areas close to the Catskills. More importantly, the taste for women having careers along with observing their faith is an... Read morePublished 20 days ago by S.I.
I don't have enough meaningful superlatives in my vocabulary to describe this bookPublished 4 months ago by C7503R
interesting education of Jewish traditions and a warm, languid depiction of intertwined families. I so wanted Elizabeth to flourish and still reconcile her faith in tradition... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Dennis Hamsher
The most boring book that was well written! The story is is ok but the descriptions kill me. They are so boring. I finished the book in one week because it was a class read. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Ruqayah Zuhair
Could not hold reader interest. Shallow characterizations, incoherent. Admittedly depicts an alien world to most readers. Love her other books such as The Cookbook Collector. Read morePublished 17 months ago by CC.
Dull, dull, dull. I do not know how I finished the book. I think that I thought there would be a story somewhere but there was not. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Jean C. Fox
The title Kaaterskill Falls refers to the make-believe town in upstate New York where a sect of Orthodox Jews migrate every summer from the steaming city an hour or so south -... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Marcy A. Sheiner
One of the most beautifully written books I've encountered. It's richly textured and very evocative. It's the kind of book you don't want to end.Published on April 9, 2013 by Jeremy Glass