Tuesday, January 5, 2010
The Book Review Club - The Old Country
by Mordica Gerstein
Alone Gerstein's name would lure me to read one of his books. It has such an interesting and alluring sound to it. His middle grade novel, The Old Country, is, of course, even more intriguing.
Gisella, a famous violinist, tells her grandson the story of how she was once a fox...in the old country.
Filled with mystery, war, controversy, longing, magic, sarcasm, symbolism, and many other isms, this is a writer's dream of a book. Not only did it grab the reader in me, tempting me into taking that leap of faith into imagination but also it interested me as a writer. How does one pack so much into such a short story, leading the reader on in such a fantastic way that she can only hope the story is long, long, long, Dostoevsky long. It isn't, but then, its shortness is part of its magic.
I happened to listen to this one on tape. Tovah Feldschuh read. She added such depth to Gerstein's characters. Her many voices were so distinct, I often forgot only one person was reading. For once, I'd actually suggest listening to this one before reading it. You won't regret it.
So on the way to school, the grocery, doctor's appointments, gas station, or wherever, get yourself a copy of this book. Just don't be surprised if on the way to one of those countless places we all run to during the course of a week, you might actually forget where you're going and find yourself lost...in The Old Country.
For other great reads these cold winter months, pop over to fearless leader, Barrie Summy's, website. Temptation awaits!