- Paperback: 144 pages
- Publisher: BeWrite Press (October 9, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780692945032
- ISBN-13: 978-0692945032
- ASIN: 0692945032
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,424,851 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Where Do I Go Paperback – October 9, 2017
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"5 Stars Plus - A fabulous follow up to Magid's last book, Sown in Tears." (Amybooksy.blogspot)
"5 Stars, Very hard to put down until I finished the book."(Donnasbookblog)
"A beautiful and poignant story of an all too forgotten time of history." (Svetlana's Reads and Views)
"4 Stars - If there is eve a new book by Beverly Magid, I'm jumping on it." (LuAnn Bralley)
About the Author
Beverly Magid was a journalist and public relations exec in the entertainment industry before writing her novels. A New Yorker at heart, she's a long-time resident of Los Angeles. A political junkie, an advocate for the victims of war atrocities as well as animal cruelty, she believes strongly that caring for the vulnerable shows the real values of a person and a country.
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“Where Do I Go” rejoins Leah and her sons after they immigrate to America following a devastating attack on their Russian village. This meticulously researched book immediately drew me in. While captivating the reader with the vividly depicted drama of daily life in 1908 America, Beverly Magid reveals the inhumanity Leah faces at work in the sweat shops of the garment industry. At the same time, the author is able to reveal the softer side of life through the character of Leah’s ten-year-old son, Benny. I found Beverly Magid’s portrayal of Benny’s essential nature, and the personal challenges he faces in his new homeland, quite touching. Just as we all strive to do today, Leah searches for a better life for herself and her family. Reading this beautifully written novel, I savored every moment of Leah’s journey finding it.
As I said, this is a must-read.
She experiences many hardships both at home and in her work as a garment worker. The book is not only a good story but it gives the reader a glimpse into the life of a single working mother, conditions in the garment industry, and unionization. I particularly liked the family life segments and the (spoiler alert) blossoming romance. Maybe there will be another "Leah" book showing her in happier times?
Leah's teenage son had to get a job after school to help his mother and two uncles keep a roof over their heads and buy enough food to survive on. His take home? One dollar a week! (Most people nowadays earn at least that much on a mandated 15 minute paid break! For further perspective, young Benny would have to work for 1923 YEARS to earn the increase in initial membership fee to Mar-a-Lago since Trump became president. I checked and $1 earned in 1905 would be like earning $26.05 today, which means it would still be a crappy weekly wage.)
The lives of most immigrants to the US then, well...sucked. They left war, persecution, famine in their native countries to come to the USA - where the streets were said to be 'paved with gold'. But 'happily ever after' didn't quite turn out that way. The strong preyed on the weak. Immigrants born in another country often had 'differences of opinions' with people who were born in the US, but whose ancestors came from the same country the 'new' immigrants did. Religion fought against religion, race against race, ethnicity against ethnicity, rich vs. poor...if a line could be drawn between two groups of people it was drawn. Sadly, many of those same lines still exist today.
Ms. Magid does an incredible job at describing the conditions and privations of immigrants and factory workers at the turn of the 20th century. And on the flip side, the warmth of family and friends, be it Leah and her brothers and sons, or even Jake and his father Samuel (in their own way) was palpable.
Families and friends had to help each other be strong, because most other social forces were trying to beat each other down and tear each other apart. For instance, Benny was beaten up by an Irish gang until he 'accepted' a position running numbers for them. Then he was 'rescued' by Jake, who was also of Jewish extraction ... who ultimately used Benny for assignments of questionable legality.
Now, you may think with my talk of social injustice, that I came away not liking the book. Oh, that is so far from the truth. Despite the terrible things that happened (much like in the movies Braveheart or Schindler's List, to name but two), I finished reading Where Do I Go feeling 'lighter' than I did when I started.
When the opportunity presents itself for me to read another book by Beverly Magid (Flying Out of Brooklyn or Sown in Tears, or some future work), I am jumping on it.