|Buried in Print.booklikes.com
August 15, 20114
“Across from the field when Mr. Wolfson had taken Libka lived
the widow Sharon Krinsky and her daughter, Fanny, who worked
as a seamstress in a local mill. They occupied the second floor of
the tenement house that Mrs. Krinsky owned, and she spent most
of her time looking out of the window. On the night when Mr.
Wolfson pulled up in the field and turned off his engine, she
watched the activity in the car through her binoculars,
highlighted by a street lamp.”
Carrying on from In a Pale Blue Light, reading The Newcomers feels
somewhat like turning to a Galsworthy novel, as though the
family saga might unfold endlessly. But with a dash of the
Sydney Taylor All-of-a-Kind Family series, for the focus is on the
children in the family and the action eventually shifts from South
Africa to the United States.
In this volume, the second, the focus is the daughter, Libka, whom
readers have followed since her father’s death at the beginning of
the first volume, through her school years and graduation. But
just as the quote reveals, there is a wider ensemble cast, and
readers are as likely to get details about her mother’s work in the
laundry as about parked cars and untoward behaviour.
The covers, too, hint at the voice and themes; their cool colours and
charcoal lines suggest that these stories are told from a distance,
when passions have cooled, and both language and preoccupations
are soft and controlled, neither stark nor highly emotive.
These stories reward the patient reader with a solid connection to
characters followed across time and space and a desire to continue
with the story in as-yet-unpublished volumes.