December 14, 2012
I finally had the opportunity to read your book “The Provider” which you had sent to the Metropolitan Region ORT office in Northbrook, Il. I applaud you on your awards and accolades and your energy to publicize and distribute your book.
Your novel is an interesting addition to the field of stories about the immigration experience in general, and specifically that of the Jews from Eastern Europe. You gave a bit of a different view, beginning with the year of Rosa’s immigration. Most of these stories focus on the generation that came before your protagonists, the Alberts and Buela’s that established businesses and families, although all of those were not so successful either. Rosa and Sanya make an interesting pair. The fact of their attraction being at least somewhat to do with a shared identity and culture and longing for the familiarity of home added to the strong physical attraction gave them a deep bond. Strong women are always a challenge in literature. You balanced well the seesaw of Rosa’s life in her ambitions and her love, her disappointments and her joys.
I thought you handled the dialogue especially well – I feel I heard their voices, accents and all, in my head. You also took an interesting turn by starting them in Chicago and taking them to California, when so much of this genre begins in New York and stays east coast. I see you based the novel on your parents, so imagine this is how you ended up in Los Angeles.
As a book discussion leader and reviewer in my community, especially connected to Jewish life through ORT America and Hadassah, and local synagogues through sisterhood book clubs, I will be adding “The Provider” to my recommended reading lists. My reading lists are published in program books and on local organization websites. In addition to Jewish connections, my recommended reading lists go to library groups and private book clubs for which I serve as moderator. My lists end up in the hands of hundreds of local women and many of them share my lists with friends and family across the country. So, I hope that I will help spread the word about “The Provider”, and help to spark interest in reading it and talking about the issues of love, marriage, dedication and perseverance, material wealth, family and immigration to name a few of the themes I see worthy of discussion. In fact, I think the title you chose provides (word intended) interesting options for discussion.
Thanks again for sending the book. Best wishes to you on the success of this novel and on your future endeavors. Please let me know if you are ever planning any travel to Chicago. I imagine I could arrange an appearance at either a local book store or library for you to have an opportunity to talk about “The Provider”.