The Cure for Grief

Nellie Hermann, Author . Scribner $24 (272p) ISBN 978-1-4165-6823-0

The only girl in the strong, loving Bronstein family, nine-year-old Ruby anchors this adept debut from Hermann. Ruby has always felt both admiration for and rejected by her three charismatic older brothers; she is similarly intrigued by her Holocaust survivor father, whose observance of Jewish customs persists despite his professed loss of faith. Ruby’s own sense of faith, family and self will be sorely tested over the next 10-plus years: her oldest brother Abe’s schizophrenic break, a truly frightening event to 10-year-old Ruby, is but the first in a series of crises. The well-developed chapters have a tendency to read like individual stories, but Hermann keeps the novel’s themes of loss and resiliency constant. Foreshadowing and symbolism get heavy, but what could have become a litany of family pain is tempered, in Hermann’s eminently capable narrative, by young Ruby’s concurrent journey toward self-discovery. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 03/24/2008
Release date: 08/01/2008
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-4165-6824-7
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4165-7029-5
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