Housegest

02.04.2018 1 Comments

Her fluency in the language of complex relationships and dark psychology brings to mind the work of Ann Beattie, Mary Gaitskill, and Alice Munro, and her sense of the story the work of Tobias Wolff and F. Such combinations are difficult to beat. In these harrowing and beautiful pages, Brooks uses an intricately drawn cast of characters, including a seductive refugee named Ana Beidler, to depict the ambiguities of taking as well as delaying action. This is a book of marvels. As the characters feel the impact of the war in Europe, they each reach out in their own way to fight.

Housegest


Yet her prose, as gorgeous as it can be, is never purely aesthetic, because her illustrations of these lives and these cities on the eve of World War II are the heart of her story. It resonates powerfully with our complicated and troubling modern age, and Brooks tells not only the sweeping tale of a country grappling with a global crisis but also an intimate story of individuals: As the characters feel the impact of the war in Europe, they each reach out in their own way to fight. This is a notable first novel with a voice all its own. Ultimately, The Houseguest is a moving novel about identity, family, and the decisions that define who we will become. In these harrowing and beautiful pages, Brooks uses an intricately drawn cast of characters, including a seductive refugee named Ana Beidler, to depict the ambiguities of taking as well as delaying action. This is a book of marvels. Some want to bury their heads in the sand while others want to create a Jewish army that would fight Hitler and promote bold, widespread rescue initiatives. If you could save another from terrible harm, what would you do? This is a masterful novel; Kim Brooks is a fantastic writer and this is a necessary and important book. A bold and gorgeous debut. She explores her difficult subject with grace and ease and not a single emotional misstep. As news filters out of Europe, American Jews struggle to make sense of the atrocities. Her fluency in the language of complex relationships and dark psychology brings to mind the work of Ann Beattie, Mary Gaitskill, and Alice Munro, and her sense of the story the work of Tobias Wolff and F. The Houseguest takes the familiar facts of the Second World War and transmutes them into a story that is exquisite, necessary, luminous, and wholly new. And when a popular Manhattan synagogue is burned to the ground, our characters begin to feel the drumbeat of war is marching ever closer to home. Such combinations are difficult to beat. Descriptive moments of levity depicting pre-World War II Jewish life in Europe and the Yiddish theater provide a window into a vibrant world and add another layer to this story that keeps the reader guessing until the end. She is the personal essays editor at Salon and lives in Chicago with her family. The Houseguest is one such novel. So when his friend Max Hoffman, a local rabbi with a dark past, asks Abe to take in a European refugee, he agrees, unaware that the woman coming to live with him is a volatile and alluring actress named Ana Beidler. Ana regales the Auer family with tales of her lost stardom and charms and mystifies Abe with her glamour and unabashed sexuality, forcing him to confront his own desire as well as the ghost of his dead brother. At the end, I cried. Kim Brooks answers through her cast of beautifully drawn, deeply human characters and a story that does not let you go.

Housegest


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