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"Come, listen, listen to the story of the curse that foreshadowed every father's disappearance. Be comforted by your four mothers" Shifra Horn's lyrical novel spans five generations of women and one hundred years of life in Jerusalem. While Amal is despondent at her husband's desertion after the birth of her first child, her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother realise that the birth of a healthy boy means their family's curse has been broken. Motherhood initiates Amal into the secrets of her family's history and the rich tapestry of the lives of her four "mothers": Mazal, whose ill-fated marriage brought about the curse; her daughter Sara, who has healing powers; Sara's daughter, Pnina-Mazal, who can read others' thoughts; and her daughter Geula - Amal's mother - whose sharp intellect and idealism are both a gift and a burden.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780749931605
ISBN-10: 0749931604
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 21mm)
Pages: 336
Imprint: Piatkus Books
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 2-Mar-2000
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

UK Kirkus Review » This is the delightful tale of four generations of Jerusalem women. Amal is despondent when her husband deserts her after the birth of their first child, but her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother are jubilant because she has given birth to a boy, thereby removing the family's curse. The reader follows Amal's initiation into the secrets of her family's history which are revealed through a beguiling mix of folklore and magical realism. Horn's first novel is a hypnotic piece of storytelling which vividly evokes the everyday life of 20th-century Jerusalem. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » This fervent first novel, set in Jerusalem, traces the experiences and emotions of five generations of women "cursed" by the disappearances of their husbands after they've borne daughters. Among the matriarchs preceding Amal (who gives birth to a boy, and thus perhaps the end of the curse), the most vividly drawn are Sara, a legendary beauty who is also a famed healer, and her daughter (and Amal's grandmother) Pnina-Mazal, a hopeful scholar (not unlike Isaac Bashevis Singer's "Yentl") also gifted with psychic powers. Though its credibility is vitiated by more than a few too many melodramatic crises, this is a lively, reader-friendly tale effectively flavored with atmospheric detail and fascinating chunks of Israeli folklore and myth. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Shifra Horn

Shifra Horn lives in Jerusalem and this is her third novel. Her previous two novels were both international bestsellers and she has won several literary prizes.

Books By Author Shifra Horn

Ode to Joy by Shifra Horn

Ode to Joy

Paperback, February 2006
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