About the Book:
The Tiger’s Wife meets A History of Love in this inventive, lushly imagined debut novel that explores the intersections of family secrets, Jewish myths, the legacy of war and history, and the bonds between sisters. (Ecco/HarperCollins, July 2014.)
When Eli Burke dies, he leaves behind a mysterious notebook full of stories about a miracle worker named the White Rebbe and the enigmatic Angel of Losses, guardian of the lost letter of the alphabet that completes the secret name of God.
Years later, Eli’s granddaughter Marjorie stumbles upon his notebook and everything she thought she knew about her grandfather—and her family—comes undone. To learn the truth about Eli’s origins and unlock the secrets he kept, she embarks on an odyssey that takes her deep into the past, from the medieval Holy Land to eighteenth-century Venice and Nazi-occupied Lithuania. What she finds leads her back to present-day New York City and her estranged sister, Holly, whom she must save from the consequences of Eli’s past.
Interweaving history, theology, and both real and imagined Jewish folktales, The Angel of Lossesis a family story of what lasts, and of what we can—and cannot—escape.
It isn’t very often that a book stays on my mind for long after I’ve read it. That’s not to say I haven’t read some touching, intriguing, captivating books, but that it isn’t often they spur continual thoughts. When you read so many books in a week/month, you have a continuous stream of stories, so the book can’t really stick with you for too long. THE ANGEL OF LOSSES, stuck with me a little longer than most. I spent a little more time thinking about the characters and the story itself, but I also spent some time evaluating myself, my thoughts, and my beliefs. Having some of my own family drama, this debut seems to captivate the truth and realism that plaques sisters when there is discord.
One of my favorite parts of the book was near the end, I feel as though I must share it with you:
“Only the Almighty can bring the redemption, Mannasseh says.
We must hope only that he hears our prayers and is merciful.
No man can cross the river until that day.
And no man knows if today is that appointed day, Yode’a said. And no angel, either…”
This story is a good mixture of family drama, mystery and myth. It will leave you wanting to go explore your own family journals and history and look for the story you may have missed.
About the Author:
Stephanie Feldman grew up in Philadelphia and studied writing at the University of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts, and Barnard College. She lived in New York City for 10 years before returning to the Philadelphia area with her husband and daughter.The Angel of Losses is her first novel.