After the Holidays

Yehoshua Kenaz, Author, Dalia Bilu, Translator Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P $16.95 (216p) ISBN 978-0-15-103959-3
This bleak evocation of a colony that will one day become a thriving suburb of Tel Aviv takes a strong grip on readers, thrusting them into embattled households and secret lives. The Weiss family, newly arrived from eastern Europe, resides in a cluttered house where daughters Riva and Batsheva languish, reading novels and giggling when the occasional visitor arrives. Their father alternately harangues and soothes his discontented family while devoting most of his time to his orange groves. When his wife pulls the bedclothes over her head and diesas for a long time she has threatened to dohe turns for relief first to religion and then to an old woman, whom he marries. Soon their imposing new mansion begins to crumble; the daughters itch with repressed sexuality; WW I begins and there is no longer a market for Weiss's fruit. Though its atmosphere of despair is all but overwhelming, the novel is nonetheless oddly compelling. (May 22)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1987
Release date: 05/01/1987
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