Blandly related but eventually acquiring momentum, this saga of maternal love covers 50 years in the lives of two women and the daughter they share. Eliza Wolf, a Jewish partisan fighting in the Polish forest during WW II, desperately pleads with villager Wanda Zbyszek to shelter her baby daughter from the Nazis. Wanda grows to love the child and when she has the opportunity to escape Poland by assuming the identity of one Maria Prychek, who has died, Wanda goes to America with Mina in tow. In her new life, Wanda/Maria finds a husband and raises Mina as her daughter, and a Catholic. Meanwhile, Eliza, having searched fruitlessly for her child, goes to Israel where she too marries and has a family, but she is never reconciled to the loss of Mina. The fortunes of both women grow in parallel fashion: Maria becomes a successful caterer in the Midwest; Eliza owns a chain of Israeli hotels. For a heartstopping moment, the adult Mina, a travel agent on a tour of Israel, has tea with Eliza. But fate still has too much in store for these star-crossed families to discover each other just yet. Related in pedestrian prose and burdened with wooden dialogue, this hefty novel will appeal to readers of commercial fiction who like family dramas with a minimum of literary flourish. Haddad's previous novel was The Last Ride. Troll Book Club main selection.
Reviewed on: 04/01/1988 Release date: 04/01/1988 Genre: Fiction