Trumpets of Silver

Norma Harris, Author Dutton Books $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-525-24879-8
As though written by a computer, this formula saga seems programmed to include every facet of Jewish experience worldwide from 1891 through WW II. Escaping a bloody massacre in Odessa in 1891, Shmuel Kaminsky moves his wife and three young children to a muddy village within the Russian pale of Jewish settlement, where obligatory bar mitzvah, bris, Sabbath and betrothal scenes occur. Although bound by tradition and strong family ties, the two older children, Sonia and Joshua, seek better lives elsewhere, their search grinding forward with relentless predictability. Joshua escapes to Palestine, en route meeting Theodore Herzl. After arriving in Chicago and working as a maid, Sonia marries the son of her wealthy employers and brings the remainder of her family to America. In New York her sister marries an aspiring actor with serious character flaws, and begins work in the Triangle Shirtwaist factory. Moving into high gear with the third generation, we are whisked at a dizzying pace through the Depression, WW II and the emergence of the Jewish state. The plot, doomed by stereotypes, becomes reduced to a mind-numbing blur. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1990
Release date: 07/01/1990
Mass Market Paperbound - 384 pages - 978-0-451-16989-1
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