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Traditional Jewish storytelling is given a vibrant new twist in The Sweetheart Is In, a witty and intimate debut collection of short stories by S.L. Wisenberg. Ceci Rubin, the protagonist of a series of linked tales, is a typical heroine: daughter of a soldier who liberated Mauthausen, she grows up in Texas, then moves to Chicago, where she falls in love with a religious Jewish woman, who is oblivious to Ceci's feelings. In pithy prose and brief paragraphs, Wisenberg documents the secret hopes and fears of her characters, many practicing Jews, others mindful of their heritage.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Wisenberg presents a tart first collection of short stories concerned with the threads that hold families together. The stories in the book's first part examine the lives of an upper-class Jewish family in suburban Houston. Each family member is reeling from the effects of some great social trauma--the liberation of the Holocaust camps, the Vietnam War, and the changing sexual mores of the 1960s. Ceci, the youngest daughter, transforms from a precocious girl reciting Eleanor Roosevelt's memoirs in talent contests to a news reporter struggling to remove herself from a string of failed love affairs. Her mother, a woman of considerable girth, has a placid demeanor that belies her sharp wit and frustrated sexuality, and her father, after serving in World War II, has declined into prosperity as a soap suds mogul. The stories in part 2 subvert biblical and fairy tale archetypes and are distinguished by keen insight. With humor and wisdom, Wisenberg charts the small misfortunes and heartbreaks that a lifetime contains and gives readers sharply drawn characters they will enjoy meeting. Brendan Dowling
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