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Oriental Wife (2011)

by Evelyn Toynton(Favorite Author)
2.96 of 5 Votes: 3
129956948X (ISBN13: 9781299569485)
Other Press (NY)
review 1: The book jacket is a little misleading, IMO. The story starts with 3 Jewish children growing up as Nazism extends its nasty reach in Germany. Otto & Louisa are cousins and spend a lot of time with Otto's friend Rolf. The main narrative follows Louisa as she leaves Germany for school and then follows her heart. She encounters Otto & Rolf in New York several years later and rekindles her friendship with them. While Rolf has his own story, it is not as robust as that of Louisa's. And when the focus moves from Louisa, it moves to her daughter Emma. This is the kind of novel where you want to hit characters on their heads for not opening up, not trying hard enough, not putting themselves out there due to fear of rejection. The characters seem to believe that doing that will cha... morenge the fundamentals of their individual selves. And knowing what their little gestures could mean but recoiling.Toynton also sheds light on the refugee plight in NY during WWII. While the 3 children did not personally experience the horrors of post-Kristallnacht, their parents in Germany tried to shield them from the harsh, brutal reality. There's a lovely instance of a photograph taken that looks peaceful & happy, while the house around the subjects has been torn to pieces by the Nazis. Even when they fled Germany, they had trouble regaining their spirits and enjoyment of life (especially knowing what was happening to those who remained).
review 2: I read this book with some anticipation and was let down very early. The characters were not fully developed, the book read more like a draft than a finished copy and the story went very slowly without much gravitas or action.The main characters were Jewish immigrants who had escaped Germany prior to World War two. On that count, one would could consider them lucky. However, they were placed into a new environment where they faced hardships, illness and felt out of place. Not to compare their situation at all to victims of the Holocaust, but this book examined how even when escaping the Holocaust, bad things can happen.I wish that the book had been fleshed out more and that I'd been better able to relate to the characters. However, this was not so and I found the book a slow and boring read. less
Reviews (see all)
it was ok...not sure why it is called the oriental wife? interesting though
I so hoped I'd love this book. Somehow it never develped and entralled me.
Was very sad and although I couldn't put down, I wouldn't reccomend.
didn't finish didn't Like the book hard to follow story line
Did not wrap anything up at the end.
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