It has been a long wait for fans of Amy Bloom, but her new novel since Love Invents Us (1997), will be payback enough. It's heartbreaking, romantic, and completely unforgettable.
Away*, a historical novel set in the 1920s, is based loosely on the life of Lillian Alling, as documented in Cassandra Pybus’ meticulously researched The Woman Who Walked to Russia (2002).
In Away,, Lillian Leyb, a 22-year-old Jewish immigrant arrived in New York City alone, mourning the loss of her young daughter. Sheer determination got her the much sought-after job as a seamstress at the Goldfadn Yiddish Theatre and the attention of the handsome lead actor and his very connected father.
But when word came that her daughter might be alive in Siberia, Lillian was determined to make her way there. The journey was arduous, to say the least.
“Encompassing prison, prostitution and poetry, Yiddish humor and Yukon settings, Bloom's tale offers linguistic twists, startling imagery, sharp wit and a compelling vision of the past. Bloom has created an extraordinary range of characters, settings and emotions. Absolutely stunning.” ~Publishers Weekly
* = Starred Reviews (see the August 20th New York Times Review).