In the topsy-turvy years between the dawn of the twentieth century and the dark days of 1939, the Moskat family battled on.
But like many Jewish families in Poland they can no longer turn a blind eye to the dwindling of their fortunes.
In Warsaw, where saints mingle with swindlers, tough Zionists argue with mystic philosophers, and medieval rabbis rub shoulders with ultra-modern painters, life is inexorably changing.
Secularism and war inch nearer and the family Moskat clings on.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 768 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Publishing
- Publication Date: 07/12/2000
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780099285489
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Review by starbox
'this is the bread of affliction which our forefathers ate in the Land of Egypt',, August 14, 2014This review is from: The Family Moskat: A Novel (FSG Classics) (Paperback)Compelling family saga set in the Jewish community of Warsaw. The novel opens in the years before WWI : the wealthy patriarch of the family has just returned from taking the waters, bringing with him a new wife - and a stepdaughter. There's much irritation among his children by his previous two wives; they are also unhappy about their father's trusted bailiff, who seems to have altogether too much power. And into this mix comes Asa Heshel Bannet, a young man from a rabbinical background, who has come to study in Warsaw...The characters are convincingly drawn - some religious, holding fast to the old ways, others becoming westernized, refusing arranged marriages - even getting caught up in affairs or becoming apostate. As WWII looms, the whole family is living a very different life..I felt this novel really started as one thing - a typical almost-Victorian family tale, where everyone had their role and life was settled - to the totally disorganized 'free for all', fighting for survival - and to make sense of the world- that depicts the experience of the Jewish people in the late 30s. An excellent read.