- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins (January 1, 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061001422
- ISBN-13: 978-0061001420
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,163,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Almonds and Raisins Paperback – January 1, 1991
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The story moves fast, has lots of surprises, and it told with a good deal of dialogue. It feels much shorter than 460-some pages. But be forewarned, you're going to want to read the next book in the series (Scattered Seeds) right away, because not everything is resolved at the end of this book.
It's almost addictive reading about the people and their decisions and hardships. Sometimes a character makes a decision, and you think, "No! This will ruin your life!!!" But will it? In this book people and decisions are more complex than simple morality sketches.
Difficult problems aren't ignored. When David, the one family's oldest son, is forced to leave school at age 13 because there's another child coming along and the family needs the money, you want to weep for the bright boy and his broken dreams. David and his mother are the main characters in this story, because they are so influential to the other characters, and the story's momentum.
By the end, about 20 years have passed. The family has gone from sleeping on a kind host family's floor to living in middle-class dwellings instead of their former poor, inner-city home. The eldest son runs a factory, and the youngest son is studying at medical school.
But there are still struggles to overcome, namely, the depression, and a rising tide of anti-Semitism hinting darkly at the edges of Europe and London. Also, a large question is left unanswered about the youngest son and an important decision he must make about his future.
This story is a powerful one about the ties of family, the obligations and debts that people owe or think they owe, and how people deal with difficult times and problems. It's also a loving story about two families who in many ways are one. I didn't want it to end.
I felt like I met the characters in person, and they invited me over for tea and Sachertorte. This story helped me better understand what life must have been like for Jewish immigrants. Although it gives you a deeper understanding of Judiasm, you definitely don't have to be Jewish to enjoy this story. You just have to know what it's like to be human.
There are a few typos in the Kindle version, but not enough to make me quit reading--still warrants a 5 star rating, as the typos aren't the authors fault.
Please publish for Kindle reading!!!