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Corning - Southeast Steuben County Library 1 FIC PLA New books

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Brought up in a secularized Jewish household on Manhattan's upper Eastside, Nancy Green knows suspiciously little about her parents' past. She knows they were World War II Jewish refugees who were able to escape Germany with precious family heirlooms that are constant reminders of a lost life and world Nancy knows very little about. The longing she has for some kind of spiritual connection first leads her into an encounter with an Hassidic Jewish man who, unable to find meaning in his own religion, has taken vows to becomes a monk; and then an involvement with a Catholic boy in Boston where she is studying for her masters degree in English literature. Yvon, trying to escape the clutches of Catholicism and his overbearing mother, finds temporary refuge in Nancy and sees her as an escape from the insular enclave of Franco-Americans where he has spent most of his life. Their highly erotic, tempestuous relationship is frightening to both of them and a tragedy in Yvon's life eventually pulls them apart. Devastated by the breakup, Nancy ends up marrying a Jewish man from London, hoping to find herself with a man of her own religion. However, this new relationship, pale in comparison to her relationship with Yvon, ends very sadly and regrettably, inspiring Nancy to go back to Boston to track down the man who, she realizes, is the great love of her life.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

After a decade-long immersion in memoir, Plante (Worlds Apart, 2015) returns to fiction with a brooding variation on his nonfiction American Ghosts (2005), an inquiry into his French Canadian and Catholic upbringing in Providence, Rhode Island. Here that realm exerts an all-too-powerful force on Yvon, a college student in Boston. New Yorker Nancy Green, Plante's spiritually and emotionally adrift protagonist, is also studying there. She is far more worldly and privileged, yet she, too, dwells apart as the daughter of Jews who escaped Nazi Berlin. Enthralled by Henry James, she pirouettes through a series of baffling and painful relationships, falling for a Hasidic Jew who is converting to Catholicism; living with Yvon, a passionate lover unable to cope with life; and marrying a seemingly practical Jewish Egyptian Londoner who proves to be deeply wounded by his family's forced exile from Alexandria. Nancy becomes an American stranger in England, just as Yvon is in the U.S. Plante's exquisitely sensitive novel of displacement, isolation, loss, and longing is rendered in intimate, darkly enrapturing scenes of snow, haunted rooms, and desolate wanderings.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2017 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Nancy Green, the daughter of German Jews who escaped Hitler, is trying to find meaning in her life. A graduate student in Boston, she meets Aaron Cohen, who is escaping his Hasidic heritage by becoming a monk. Her next love, Yvon Gendreau, is a young man of Franco-American background whose family history goes back to a time before the British came to America. When Yvon disappears, Nancy marries Tim Arbib, a Jewish refugee from Alexandria, Egypt, who lives in London. After her marriage fails, Nancy returns to New York still trying to make sense of her life and the lives of the men who have moved her. Verdict Plante, whose novel Family was nominated for the National Book Award, is himself of Franco-American descent. He manages to capture the sense of disconnectedness that Nancy and her male friends experience as each struggles to define his or her identity in this riveting novel of wandering souls.-Andrea Kempf, formerly with Johnson Cty. Community Coll. Lib., Overland Park, KS © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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