Beyond the High White Wall

Nancy Pitt, Author Gale Cengage $12.95 (135p) ISBN 978-0-684-18663-4
In a richly evocative first novel, Pitt constructs, from family journals, the story of a young Ukrainian girl who in 1903 witnesses the baron's foreman kill a peasant. Because Libby Kagan's family is Jewish, her father will not allow her to go to the police with her information, reminding her that the police always jail the head of any Jewish family whose house burns down, no matter who sets the blaze. He wants her to forget what she saw. But Libby is angry that her father, and others, refuse to do anything about the murderer, Klym Sereda. She writes the baron an anonymous note. Then Libby's home is burned down. She realizes that Sereda has helped her understand something: ""He made us see that our government and the customs of our homeland kept us from living as we wanted.'' Libby confronts Sereda; he kills himself trying to escape, and the Kagans set out for America. This is not, at its core, a dramatic book; it's a sharply focused look at the effects of one incident on a family, and a compassionate story of growing up. (12up)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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