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The War Of The Rosens Paperback – September 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 245 pages
  • Publisher: Behler Publications (September 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933016388
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933016382
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 6.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,694,270 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Eidus's confident fifth book, it's 1965, and 10-year-old cutie-pie Emma Rosen is navigating the rough seas of preadolescence and her temperamental Jewish family in a lower-middle-income Bronx housing project. Her often violent father, Leo, a self-righteous atheist who craves attention, dreamed of being a great novelist but instead owns a candy store; his casual flirtation with a sultry Jamaican widow threatens to blossom into a full-blown affair. Annette, Emma's migraine-plagued doormat of a mother, can barely remember her younger, prettier, idealistic self as she slaves away in the kitchen, the butt of Leo's tantrums. Emma, a budding poet who prays to the Virgin Mary, inspires intense animosity in her 13-year-old sister, May, which burns with the same red-hot intensity as May's infatuation for a classmate with princely blond good looks and manners very different from the Rosens. An old-fashioned coming-of-age tale, the book soon grows dark with crisis. Eidus (Faithful Rebecca) illuminates the inner lives of young girls on the cusp of womanhood and demonstrates abundant compassion for her often prickly characters. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Eidus is a camouflage artist. Her sparkling novel Urban Bliss (1994) has a dark underside, while beams of light struggle to break through the gray pall over this complex coming-of-age novel. It's 1965, and the unhappy Rosens live in the projects in the Bronx along with a diverse array of other Jewish families. Hot-tempered Leo, who runs a humble candy store, is a rabid atheist who tries to inoculate his two daughters against religion. His meek wife, a migraine-prone drudge with a "predilection for Doom and Gloom," tows the line, but May, 13 and burdened with a lazy eye, regularly beseeches God and longs for glamour and romance. Precocious 10-year-old Emma is a budding poet drawn to the Virgin Mary and deeply concerned about what it means to be a bad or good Jew. As the Rosens are cruelly tested, Eidus works out a calculus of guilt, fear, and love. Grim and incisive, caustically humorous, and affecting, Eidus' drama of moral reckoning is rendered with barbed detail to yield what Leo calls "The Truth With a Capitol T." Seaman, Donna

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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I look forward to a sequel.
N. Lucero
Also, while Eidus does a wonderful job of depicting the lives and times of Bronx in the 1960's, her story is universal.
James Sherman
Reading this book was an absolute pleasure.
Marilyn Jaye Lewis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The story is about Emma Rosen, 10-years old, and her growing up amidst a tumultuous Jewish family in a Bronx housing project, in 1965. Besides capturing the period and the drama with pitch-perfect accuracy, wit and humor, the book is noteworthy for its examination of themes of non-belief and figuring out how to be a "good Jew" despite a lack of belief, and how to cope with tragedy without this belief to fall back on. This challenge, of course, is not uniquely Jewish. Emma's father, Leo, a self-described "politically progressive Jewish atheist", is a dogmatic, volatile man who will trouble readers on account of his temperament, but his philosophical views are especially timely in this age of so-called "New Atheism."

The book is a breakthrough in another way. Unlike the earlier generation of Jewish novels, whose protagonists were immigrants and their children - e.g. Call It Sleep - this story is about the next generation - the second-generation Americans, like Emma's parents, scarred by the tragedies of their upbringing, the deprivations of their own parents' limitations, and, in this case, the disappointments of failed Communism. Since readers have the benefit of hindsight, we also can't help but feel especially sympathetic to Annette, Emma's mother, who was born just a bit too early and doesn't yet have the benefits of a new feminism to awaken her own independence and freedom.

This is a marvelous book, with appeal to Jews and non-Jews alike. Enjoy!

Rabbi Peter Schweitzer
The City Congregation for Humanistic Judaism
New York City
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marilyn Jaye Lewis on July 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
Reading this book was an absolute pleasure. Not that the subject matter is easy to feel good about, it's simply that Janice's characters are so real and so likable, even amid all their sometimes tragic flaws, I could not wait to find out what happened to them. This is a beautiful book about growing up in the violent, often spiritually impoverished New York of 1965. The domestic violence is so clearly depicted that it can be harrowing to read about, yet the underlying innocence of the characters and the love that informs and motivates them, will give you a lot of hope. This is not a story you will soon forget.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Beth Williamson on September 21, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a novel about the relationships among and between a mother and father and two daughters. The narrator reveals her family; her father whose politics put him at odds with the rest of the neighbors, her mother who works hard to care for husband and daughters, and her sister with whom she has tremendous sibling rivalry.

In one incident, the ten-year-old narrator sneaks into a Catholic church and has a conversation with the Virgin Mary. She dips her hand into the holy water font and fears that she has baptized herself.

I have met the writer and plan to read her other books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Eclectic Reader on December 28, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A cousin of mine lives in Italy and her women's book group is considering inviting the author, Janice Eidus, of War of the Rosens to participate in their fall event. So she asked me to read it. The author is new to me and she is a deceptively powerful writer. I don't know how she did it but eventhough this age group, location, the projects in the Bronx in 1965, were totally foreign to me, I was there! It taught me that you don't have to identify with characters or their circumstances inorder to appreciate fine writing and poignancy.Do yourself a favor..read it, buy it!
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