Friday, September 27, 2013

The Family Markowitz by Allega Goodman

The Family Markowitz by Allega Goodman is a "family" novel with a Jewish theme, meant, I suppose, to be modeled after such novels as The Brothers Ashkenazi and The Family Moskat.

Goodman does a great deal of work in a short space with at least six main characters.  Sometimes, the characterization is a bit thin (the brother Henry); in other places, laid on a bit strong (the daughter Miriam).  We get the obligatory Great American Seder, with a family at odds with each other over the meaning of the rite, as well as among themselves.  It borders on cliche, but does not quite cross the boundary.

In the end, we get an accomplished novel not only about the Jewish predicament in American, but about people struggling with modern problems and struggles.

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