Reuben Sachs, Paperback
4 out of 5 (3 ratings)


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 198 pages
  • Publisher: Persephone Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9781903155127



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

The story of two cousins who live in an Anglo-Jewish community in London in the 1880's. Reuben and his cousin Judith have secretly been in love with each other for years. His family is not so subtly trying to keep them apart. Reuben has a possibility of becoming the Conservative MP for St. Baldwins. He needs a wife with money and social connections. Judith is a poor relation with bleak prospects. Although it's only 148 pages long, not much seems to happen until the very end of the story. We meet the extended family, they have a few dinners together and attend a dance. Along the way we learn the social and material expectations for each character. You know the entire time that it will not end well. Recommended.

Review by

Reuben Sachs is the story of a young man living in the heart of a large, conservative Jewish family in 19th century London. This was the book that was discussed at the September teatime reading group, and I didn’t expect to like it all that much. I don’t read very much Jewish fiction, so this book was a little out of my comfort zone; but I enjoyed Amy Levy’s descriptions of the family and Reuben’s relationship with Judith, a childhood friend he’s in love with but can’t marry. I thought Amy Levy was a little harsh on Jewish culture and traditions, and she was a little heavy-handed with the “tribe” theme. But in all, I thought this was a really interesting look into one family in 19th century London. Amy Levy was on 27 when she wrote this, and committed suicide just the year after, so you really wonder what she was thinking when she wrote this.

Review by

A remarkable (although irregular) novel, following the frustrated love story of two Jewish cousins. Its style is polished, pared down, ironic at times and mournful at others, sometimes remiscent of Wilde or contemporary women writers such as Menie Muriel Dowie. There is a tendency at times towards generalisations and oversweeping statements that undermine the precision and lucidity of other passages. The interlinked sequences of the ball and the conclusion are particularly successful.