It took a while for me to get into this book - it was hard for me to follow at first. But once I got it I really enjoyed it! I grew to like Lillian and wanted to know what happened to her. I think what made it difficult to follow at first was that for every person(s) that had an impact on her life, the story told what happened to those people even after Lillian was no longer in their lives. This was an interesting twist and one I grew to really like.
I was expecting more from this book. It had so much potential with its premise. But it kept veering off course and getting so bogged down in details I couldn't follow the story. By the end, I didn't care if I understood the paragraph or not, I just moved on to get the book over with. I would not attempt to read this again nor would I recommend it.
This book was surprising. The story reads very fast and is engrossing but it includes many degrading sexual situations for the main character, a young Jewish immigrant woman. I would not recommend it to anyone who would find explicit and taboo sexual situations upsetting.
I found this to be a very moving story of a young Russian Jewish immigrant. She ends up traveling to the ends of the earth following her heart.
The descriptions were wonderful and rich - I felt like I could see what Lillian saw and (almost) feel what she felt.
A great story about the strength of the human spirit and the power of love.
I enjoyed this book very much. The characters were real and complex. Amy Bloom is an excellent writer. I loved the way she made sure that we knew how the lives of the major characters turned out even after they no linger had contact with the main character. I could not put this one down. Loved it!
The title, or even the cover, don't give a hint to the subject matter, or how you'll be engrossed in this story. from start to finish. unpredictable..... yet when all is said and done, you may tell yourself "of course, it had to be that way." a truly enjoyable read.
I enjoyed this book from the very beginning. I found it a compelling, engaging, fun read. Horrific events befall Lillian, the main character, and she moves through many situations and their sometimes 'far flung' solutions. Although some of the events seemed just over the top, the characters had great humanity and spirit, which in the final analysis is what draws me into a book. I highly recommend this as a great read.
I didn't really enjoy this book. I disagreed with many of the choices the main characters made in the story and didn't find anyone easy to like. When I finished the book I felt like it was a waste of time. Yet days later I'm still thinking of the story and remembering it more the way I would remember a movie, so the imagery is still very vivid in my mind. I can't say that I'd recommend it, yet it stays with me. Very unusual for me.
Lillian suffers the severest of losses, her entire family is killed and her young daughter is presumed dead. When she moves on to create a new - but equally difficult - life in America, she has to give it all away. She gives away her pride, her dignity, her expectations - all to find that she'll get more than she'd expected in the least expected places. Interesting characters, unbelievable situations and a likable lead.
This is a stunning book, written with passionate, tight efficiency. Bloom, a short story writer, offers the story of Lillian Leyb's trip from Russia to America, in this, her first novel. The book has a host of unforgettable characters. I read this book over a cold, snowy February Saturday...what a treat to read such a book, especially in one sitting.
I really liked the story. It was easy to be sympathetic with the main character. She loses her family, including a young daughter, in her native land and emigrates to the US. After learning that her daughter may have actually escaped death, she begins a journey across the US and Canada, and back to her homeland to find her daughter. This is one I'd definitely recommend...
Found this frank and honest. A little different take on things than you would imagine.
Liked it very much.
This is a pretty good read. Kept my interest enough, so I wanted to finish it. The book definitely gets better as it progresses. Recommended!
A somewhat different kind of book. The beginning grabs the reader 'in' with the war details about Lillian. The book does jump around about it's characters; at times is a little hard to follow, but the majority of Bloom's writing is great. The details of Lillian's struggle in life; her challenges; the people & situations she encounters & faces; are written well. Lillian is 'tough as nails;' she's determined to find Sophie who was left behind in Russia durng a raid in WWII. Lillian's long trek back from New York, to Washington state, to Alaska, to Russia, to search for her daughter is filled with numerous characters, all very interesting. Bloom writing is a great fictional read.
Yuck! One of the worst books I read in 2009.
I enjoyed this book but I kept wondering how some people manage to get all the bad luck and still keep going. Makes me rethink how easy my life really is now. Takes place in the 1920's and as an imigrant life was not easy anyway.
Despite some other readers' mixed reviews, I loved this book. All of the characters -- including the heroine, Lillian -- are flawed and yet sympathetic. Lillian does a lot of despicable things to get where she needs to go, but if she didn't, she would never have a chance. I loved how Bloom wraps up the rest of a character's life story when they exit the plot line. Her characters were so fascinating that I really wanted to know what happened to them. (Her end stories do not disappoint.)
This is a beautifully written, enthraling book. It's a wonderful, historicaly-thought provoking story with real, imperfect characters. I couldn't wait to see how it ended, and the ending is great! Also, Amy Bloom's books of short stories (esp. "Come to Me" ) are the best ever-and I don't even like short stories!
I just couldn't get into this book. The characters blended together and the plot was hard to follow. I gave up after about 50 pages.
Fascinating read. The characters were interesting even though they spent chapter after chapter engaging in unbelievable behavior. That said, the author made me really care about them. I liked the author's gimmick (technique?) of devoting a few paragraphs after each character left the story to letting the reader know what happened in their life. Vary satisfying. Hard to recommend this book because it is flawed in many ways, but it is unforgettable.
Would say that this book was just OK.
Not one of my favorites.
Might give it only 2 stars.
I really liked this book.
Very interesting and different
This story IS about Lillian Leib and how a young immigrant with very little knowledge of America goes on adventure of her life. I was glad to have met Lillian. I was glad she found love but sad for all her losses. Some scary stuff in this book and I am surprised that she even stayed alive through all her tribulations. I think if you like turn of the century stories with all the mores of that time, you should like this book. Narrator Barbara Rosenblatt brings the characters to life. 5 stars.
Very interesting, colorful characters.........lots of honest sexuality