Mazel

Mazel means luck in Yiddish, and luck is the guiding force in this magical and mesmerizing novel that spans three generations Sasha Saunders is the daughter of a Polish rabbi who abandons the shtetl and wins renown as a Yiddish actress in Warsaw and New York Her daughter Chloe becomes a professor of classics at Columbia Chloe s daughter Phoebe grows up to become a matheMazel means luck in Yiddish, and luck is the guiding force in this magical and mesmerizing novel that spans three generations Sasha Saunders is the daughter of a Polish rabbi who abandons the shtetl and wins renown as a Yiddish actress in Warsaw and New York Her daughter Chloe becomes a professor of classics at Columbia Chloe s daughter Phoebe grows up to become a mathematician who is drawn to traditional Judaism and the sort of domestic life her mother and grandmother rejected.
Mazel Mazel means luck in Yiddish and luck is the guiding force in this magical and mesmerizing novel that spans three generations Sasha Saunders is the daughter of a Polish rabbi who abandons the shtetl a

  • Title: Mazel
  • Author: Rebecca Goldstein
  • ISBN: 9780299181246
  • Page: 495
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “Mazel”

    1. There are so many great aspects of this book, a fascinating historical look into Ashkenazi (specifically Polish but whatev) culture on the cusp of the Holocaust- children leaving isolated shtetls for the big city, chassidim versus assimilation and greater acceptance (or so they thought,) the advent of Yiddish theatre (guuuh) and Jewish political stances, particularly Zionism- always stands out to me, of course, due to it's prominence today, but to think of it *then*, and to hear young Warsaw Jew [...]

    2. I have very mixed feelings about this book because on one hand, passages touched me so deeply I had tears well up, and on the other, I found parts of it really frustrating. I agree with the reviewer below who found the writing inconsistent; there is something almost undergraduate-ish about the constant insertions of the phrase "mazel." It made moments in the book feel like Goldstein was trying too hard to be clever, rather than conveying something true or organic.An editor should have caught tha [...]

    3. Rebecca Goldstein write novels of philosophy, where a question takes the central role more than any of the characters. The question I see in this novel is not only the role of luck (mazel) in history, which might also be called the role of chance or Fortune, but a more specific question of what Jews must do to survive. This latter question, whose answer seemed clear up until the Enlightenment and then became a major debate in the early 20th-century Warsaw described in Mazel, was suspended by Jew [...]

    4. I thought the book was very boring. It did not hold my attention. There was a lot of jumping around from place to place and character to character.

    5. I loved this book, it is told in the same format as a Yiddish folktale and incorporates awesome scenes from Yiddish theatre. It had a great debate about luck vs. mental choice.

    6. A beautiful text full of gorgeous explication. Goldstein expertly maneuvers the intricacies of familial relationships and offers keen insight into the interaction between mothers and daughters. I'm reading this for a class for school and my professor tells me over and over again that the assigned readings are designed for us to have "pleasure". Not only does this text provide immense pleasure, it is also fascinating and intellectual. My only note is that I wish the text were slightly longer in o [...]

    7. This book was hard to read. And although it was pitched to be a three-generational story, it really was about the matriarch. The content and plot was good, but the style was not consistent. Sometimes it had too much detail. It was difficult to stay connected to the characters and the tone shifted. It took me a long time to get through the book.

    8. I didn't enjoy this as much as I thought I would. It took me a long time to finish this and I can't recommend it.

    9. Not a good writer or a good story teller. Still, manages to be interesting. I would read more by her.

    10. My M.A. advisor passed this book on to me as I was leaving town-- to move to New Jersey. She thought it would a suitable read, as a portion of the narrative unfolds in suburban Lipton, NJ. I gave the book a mere two stars because - though I can now say that I enjoyed the experience of reading it - I found the writing inconsistent. I had to push myself through it at times. Goldstein is at her best when she evokes the Yiddish folk style. Some of the moments and stretches that lack this import lag [...]

    11. Descriptions of this novel make it sound like it is about 3 generations of women. It is really only about the grandmother with a bit about the daughter and granddaughter serving as bookends to the story. That being said it is a very interesting story. Though some of it may be lost on people without a Jewish / Yiddish background it deals with universal themes of choices people make about how the universe works and being religious or not. Like other books by the author there are philosophical idea [...]

    12. Read for my Jewish book club,and boy was it Jewish! I did not really like it. Story of a woman raised in an orthodox family in a small town in Poland, goes to Warsaw and becomes a famous actress in a yiddish theater, moves to NY after WWII, gets married and has a daughter. Rejects Judiasism and becomes a real New Yorker. Shocked when her granddaughter embraces orthodoxy. What comes around goes around.

    13. I really enjoyed this book. Tying together the narratives of different generations in the same family is a familiar structure for a novel, but Goldstein does it very well, and she weaves in just the right amount of history, Jewish culture & practice and different locations to make it an engaging and interesting text as well as a great story.

    14. Sentences that drip and ooze with sensual metaphors; reads like one epic poem. Complex relationships, and intergenerational evolution makes it also an entertaining story. While I wish Sorel/Sasha's development was more clear rather than jumping about, this book is a testament to excellent, and original, obscure works.

    15. Saw this book on a Jewish Book Club list and ended up borrowing it from my friend Sharon. I couldn't even get through the first chapter - her writing style is really distracting and she couldn't seem to get to the point. Not my cup of tea at all.

    16. I read this when it came out and re-read it recently. It wasn't bad -- I think I've just read too many books about inter-generational Jewish families, someone escaping the Holocaust, questions about how religious one should be, set in the New York Metropolitan area.

    17. You want to hear something depressing? This author won a MacArthur Genius Grant, and her book is published by a university press. That said, I loved The Mind/Body Problem, so I expected to love this, and didn't. I can't pin my finger on what's missing - it just seems a bit, well, dull.

    18. Complicated alot of philosophy. Old theme, man love. women he he intends to marry meets cousin falls in love. Guess the ending.

    19. Beautifully written, lovingly told. Now I understand a little better what it means to be Jewish, and I appreciate personal history a little more.

    20. a good read with an underlying philosophical question that takes this book out of the realm of just a good story

    21. 3 generations of jewish women with some magic or "mazel" thrown in. I was put off by the cover, but the book is pretty and moving. very much a jewish "house of the spirits."

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