cover image West to Eden

West to Eden

Gloria Goldreich, Author MacMillan Publishing Company $18.22 (418p) ISBN 978-0-02-544400-3

Emma Coen Lewin is the magnetic heroine of this absorbing family saga, a brave young woman who flees Amsterdam at the turn of the century for a new life in an American desert town called Phoenix. With her brothers and her husband Isaac, who has fled Russian pogroms, Emma is instrumental in achieving Arizona's statehood, in building a highly successful chain of emporiums and in nurturing the remarkable Jewish community that flourishes in the pioneer West. Goldreich (Leah's Children neatly integrates historical details, giving the reader an acute sense of the American pioneer spirit, of hard-won battles that bring distinction to the family and of the sustenance they derive from their heritage and religion. Though Goldreich obviously was inspired by the story of the Goldwater family (ancestors of the former Arizona senator and presidential candidate), the entertaining story of one family's loves and losses stands in its own right as an evocative memoir of its time and place. 35,000 copy first printing; $35,000 ad/promo; Troll Book Club main selection (August 25)