i read this for a course on early 20th century American women's history. after i finished it, i realized it is one of those books i would have valued whether or not it was on a required texts lists. it's painful, frustrating and heartbreaking but also powerful and inspiring. even if your family has always been on solid financial footings and you agree with every decision your parents have made, you'll find connections and resonances with Yezierska's commitment to living a full life and finding a way to balance the obligations of family with the need for self identification.
One of the books that I would have never discovered if it wasn't required reading for English class. Great description of the American immigrant experience.
Fantastic, exuberant story about how one little Jewish girl beat the matchmaking system and got the education she dreamed of. This is one of the best books about the issues inherent in marriage and life I have ever read yet. Very touching and real!
This book is an excellent view into radical Jewish Immigrants at the turn of the century in America. It is heart wrenching and hopeful at the same time and can be very frustrating to the reader. It makes you want to finish the book to see what actually happens to everyone.
A young Jewish immigrant breaks away from traditional roles in the 1920's. Set in NY- some very archetypal characters. A good read, a bit depressing or uplifting depending on whether you percieve the stereotypes or embrace the story of an independent woman.
First published in 1925, this is the clear-voiced expression of a young woman's struggle to free herself from the arbitrary strictures of Jewish immigrant society and from the "woman's role" assigned to her by men.
As the granddaughter of Eastern European immigrants and the daughter of an intelligent woman with drive who broke away to get a college education in 1933, I found this story gave me a deeper understanding of both my mother and my roots. My family was not Jewish and did not live in New York, but there's so much here in the immigrants' struggle that transcends those details. In fact, there's plenty in Sara Smolinsky's refusal to bow to her father's demands and in her struggle to reconcile her dreams with her fears that transcends the even the immigrant experience and offers universal appeal.
This was a fascinating look at the life of an immigrant family in the 1920's living in New York City. Their life was very hard which made the story very bleak and oppressive. This is a wonderful study of the challenge with many immigrants in how do you live in a new country and still keep your culture alive? How do your children assimilate without losing their identity from the old country? As sad as the story was most of the time the main character was engaging enough to keep me turning the pages to see how she lives out her life.
THIS BOOK WAS RECOMMENDED IN "A YEAR OF READING". THE SUBJECT MATTER--GRUELLING POVERTY EXPERIENCED BY IMMIGRANTS IN NYC IN THE FIRST DECADES OF 20TH CENTURY. THE READING EXPERIENCE--A RIVETTING TALE, YOU CAN'T PUT DOWN. THE READER IS QUICKLY ABSORBED INTO SARA'S LIFE. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT REALLY MATTERS. WONDERFUL BOOK FOR ADULTS AND THOUGHTFUL TEENS.
The struggle of the Jewish immigrants.
great book on what it meant to be a Jewish immigrant in the early 20th century
Mesmerizing reading. The story of one Jewish imigrant girl, who fights to beat the ritual of matchmaking during the 20's and to live her life in the area her family ended up migrating to, New York. A hard read in many places. Sad. I had to lay the book down and walk around and digest before I could finish reading in a few places.I found I liked this author alot. The writing was smooth, didn't jump around. I second my review with the other reviewer's...this is a great read.
I enjoyed reading this book. The story really comes alive with the author's descriptions.
This book was used as a text book for a graduate level Russian History course.
Daughter had to read this book for school and absolutely hated it. I wasn't too inspired to read it after hearing her stuggles of getting thru it.