Malkeh and Her Children

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Ballantine Books, 1992 - Fiction - 695 pages
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Richly plotted, animated by beautifully realized characters, and steeped in magnificent old-world detail, Malkeh and Her Children is the captivating epic of the remarkable Mandelkern family as they weather the storm of the Russian Revolution. At the family's center stands the indomitable Malkeh, an intelligent and beautiful woman, who marries Yoysef, an itinerant tailor. Together, the young couple embrace the simple joys and traditions of Jewish life in a tightly knit Russian city.

But soon their safe world is shattered with the dawn of the tsar's reign of terror. As famines and cholera epidemics sweep the nation, the Jews swiftly become scapegoats, with the Russian peasants taking their revenge in violent pogroms. Against this land torn by revolution and bloodshed, Malkeh and Yoysef's children must grow up and pursue their own destinies.

In a novel that sweeps from provincial life in a Jewish ghetto, to the streets of Lenin's St. Petersburg, rife with revolt, to Moscow in the chaos after the civil war, author Marjorie Edelson has woven a timeless tapestry of the old country with both its torments and its joys. Malkeh and Her Children is a loving evocation of powerful family values and traditions -- an imaginative work of love and hope that transports us into the life of a proud woman, whose courage and love will leave no one unmoved.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Inspired by family legends of life in pre-Revolutionary Russia, Edelson creates a refreshingly earthy first novel featuring an obstinate provincial Jewish woman whose children are destined to emigrate ... Read full review

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