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Tamar Yellin
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Das Vermächtnis Des Shalom Shepher: Roman

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3.25  ·  Rating Details ·  200 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
Shulamit, a biblical scholar from England, returns to her grandparents' home in Jerusalem for a visit after an absence of many years. Almost immediately she becomes embroiled in a family feud over possession of the so-called Shepher Codex, a mysterious and valuable manuscript which has been discovered in the attic. In tracing the origins of the Codex she uncovers the histo ...more
352 pages
Published 2008 by Goldmann (first published January 1st 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Chrissie
If I were to pick one word to describe this book, it would be confusing. You start a new chapter and it begins with pronouns; I kept wondering, who are we talking about?! After a page you know, but that is too long for my tastes. He did this and felt that and she responded in this manner…..but who, who, who - I was asking over and over again?! Finally I knew and then what was I supposed to do? Go back and reread the page? This happened not once, but often. The time-line jumps around and few date ...more
Ilana Diamant
Mar 29, 2010 Ilana Diamant rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the worst but well-written books I've read in a long time. Unreadable, soporific, full of cliches and stereotypes, and forget about character/plot. I'm glad I finished it.
Memo to would-be Tamar Yellins of the literary world:
Just because your novel spans multiple generations and just because Jerusalem's history is part of it, that doesn't make it a good novel or a non-boring one. I don't understand why this got the jewish book award.
And speaking of Jerusalem in fiction, Shulamit Ha
...more
Daphnar
Aug 02, 2011 Daphnar rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Although the bones of the story are interesting (woman returns to family home before its demolition to find that a valuable Codex of unknown origin has been found, interspersed with family history), the actual writing is so boring it was all I could do to finish the book. Pages pass where nothing occurs. Although not densely populated, it was difficult keeping track of the 20 or so characters because they were not sufficiently distinct.
Jennifer
Tamar Yellin's first book explores the themes revisited in her later collections of short stories: the lost tribes, Jewish and Biblical history, family history (real and imagined), estrangement, life's irrevocable choices and conflicting homelands and the notion of belonging. The narrative proceeds through a series of stories strung together that link the first person protagonist, a biblical scholar, with her personal past and generations past, and from lives of great spirituality to 20th centur ...more
Cindie Harp
Apr 03, 2009 Cindie Harp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love magical realism and I love stories that have Judaism as its own character. I actually was left unsure whether a character in this book was real or imagined, so I emailed the author, and G-d bless her, she emailed me back the answer. If you are in the mood for something spiritual and are not the sort who need literal and definitive answers, I recommend you come to this book
Rachel
Oct 10, 2016 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jewish-fiction
I struggled a little bit with this book. Somewhat like SY Agnon's "Only Yesterday," this novel starts with a Jew coming to pre-state Palestine out of ideological conviction. It's more a novel of ideas than it is of character development, which made it difficult for me to lose myself in.

But there's certainly a lot going on in this non-linear narrative. Protagonist Shula recounts her family history, starting with her great-grandfather who moves to Jerusalem in the 1860s, all the way up, and surpas
...more
Carol
Oct 10, 2008 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves visiting a foreign land; Sharon
Recommended to Carol by: Bookstore find
I don't know what made me pick up this book, but I'm so glad I did! It's like visiting a foreign country where they speak a dialect of your language, so while everything is new and fascinating, you can still understand what's going on.

Shulamit has gone to her grandparents home (from England to Jerusalem) to visit one final time before the house is torn down. Her trip is a journey in self-awareness and acceptance which takes her through 4 generations of her eccentric Jewish family.

I really enjoye
...more
Dennis Fischman
At first, I feared this book would tell the story of a hunt for secret spiritual knowledge, sort of a Da Vinci Code in Hebrew letters. Thank God, it is nothing of the kind. The Codex that sets the plot in motion is nothing more than a McGuffin. The real story of the book is the search to solve the deeper mysteries: Who were my parents before I was around? What made them the way they are? Who am I, and how do I fit in?

If you are reading for adventure, set off in another direction. If you seek cer
...more
Elizabeth
The reasons an individual chooses a book are varied, and often quirky. My reasons for choosing The Genizah at the House of Shepher may be among the most quirky. First of all, the author's given name, Tamar, is that of the younger daughter of friends who immigrated to Israel a number of years ago. The main character is Shulamit, which happens to be the name of their older daughter. As one progresses through the alphabet, it becomes harder to find books written by authors whose last names begin wi ...more
Amy Paget
Jun 13, 2015 Amy Paget rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another fabulous debut novel. The multigenerational aspects were very well handled

Plot summary:

Beginning with a search for the ten lost tribes and ending in an attic, where lies an important bible which has been missing for seventy-nine years, The Genizah at the House of Shepher is Tamar Yellin's critically acclaimed debut novel.

Returning to her grandparents' home in Jerusalem after an absence of many years, Shulamit, an English biblical scholar, stumbles into the mystery of the so-called Sheph
...more
Denise
Oct 10, 2009 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Me topé con éste libro por casualidad en Sevilla. No me arrepiento de haberlo adquirido. Es una belleza de principio a fin. El lenguaje que utiliza la autora es verdaderamente hermoso, al igual que la historia familiar que nos relata a lo largo del libro. Creo que en el mundo hay pocas comunidades verdaderamente estrechas, unidas y solidarias, y una de ellas es sin duda la comunidad judía.

Pocas son las familias que preservan su historia con tanto cuidado, y que conocen sus orígenes y su paso por
...more
Allan
Feb 22, 2012 Allan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book, early, reviewer
This book was a joy to read. The language, rich and warm, particularly when describing the mythic history of the Shepher family going back to the 19th century. It is a tapestry of emotion, longing and want. The threads of family histories are woven into the story of love, of aging and missed opportunity. Yellin is particularly masterful in showing us the passage of time. [return][return]Shulamit Shepher, the narrator, enters the genizah, the storeroom of the past where every yellowing packet of ...more
Summers
Sep 07, 2013 Summers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
FYI -- the meaning of genizah [C19: from Hebrew, literally: a hiding place, from gānaz to hide, set aside]
In Judaism, a repository for timeworn sacred manuscripts and ritual objects, generally located in the attic or cellar of a synagogue. In the Middle Ages most synagogues had a genizah, because ceremonial burial (often with the remains of a pious, scholarly Jew) was thought to be the only fitting manner of disposing of sacred documents. Countless sacred manuscripts-called shemot ("names") beca
...more
Allan
This book was a joy to read. The language, rich and warm, particularly when describing the mythic history of the Shepher family going back to the 19th century. It is a tapestry of emotion, longing and want. The threads of family histories are woven into the story of love, of aging and missed opportunity. Yellin is particularly masterful in showing us the passage of time. [return:][return:]Shulamit Shepher, the narrator, enters the genizah, the storeroom of the past where every yellowing packet o ...more
Psirene
Dec 17, 2008 Psirene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of the Shepher family and how they acquired the Genizah and how it was returned to its rightful owners. The Shephers are an eccentric family of Jews living in Jerusalem. Uncle Saul asks his London niece Shulamit to visit the family home - a rented dilapidated house about to be torn down and replaced by modern lofts - where he has recently found a codex in the attic. The chapters weave in and out of the present and the history of the Sephers and Shulamit's own past. It is a stor ...more
Heather
Nov 07, 2009 Heather rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Heather by: Library Find
The story is well written and wonderfully characterized. I really enjoyed the way the author wove the past and present into a concise and interesting narrative. I found the bits of Jewish history and tradition to be welcome elements as well. I did not like the codex plot line. It was jarring, vague and uninteresting. It felt like the author presented a complete and beautiful manuscript to her editor and was told to add in a mystery to make it sale-able. The codex plot line adds a discordant thre ...more
Anne
I guess I was expecting it to be more about the mysterious Torah Codex and less about the family in whose attic the Codex was discovered. That being said, it was still a good story, one of those multi-generational family sagas along the lines of Isabel Allende's House of the Spirits. The writing had a very wry, dry humor to it, and oftentimes what the author didn't say was just as evocative as what she did say.
Donna
Jun 30, 2009 Donna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A life-long student of spiritual studies, I love reading about the Torah. Kabbalah, numerology, codex all go hand-in-hand with Hebrew Scripture studies. There is the issue of enmeshment/fusion and "rights" within a family's history.

I'm a tough critic for sure, but enjoyed this, tho my overall rating is "3 Stars".
Lou
Apr 25, 2013 Lou rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hated
I know many people like this book and I don't want to be disrespectful but I HATE this book. I forced myself to finish reading the book because it was boring, boring and boring. The only thing that I liked about it was some quotes and nothing else. If you like books written in first person, with many internal monologues and lots of history, I recommend this book. And if not, don't read this.
Sue
Aug 18, 2009 Sue marked it as decided-not-to-read  ·  review of another edition
There's nothing really WRONG with this book, it's just b-o-r-i-n-g. There are some lovely passages, so I kept going longer than I would have otherwise, but today on page 119 I quit. The book tackles a potentially interesting theme, but it (the book) is just not moving along.
Dev Singer
The book is less about the mystery of the genizah and more about the history of the Shepher family, and I found that once it got to the more recent Shephers their lives weren't actually interesting. Near the end I started skipping the recent-history chapters and just reading the now chapters.
Ksenia
A thoughtful reflection on religion, roots, identity, family, and fate. Set against the backdrop of both old Jerusalem and modern-day Israel, alternating between the past and present, The Genizah at the House of Shepher explores all those themes through Shulamit and ends with a warm self-awareness.
Karen
Jul 01, 2011 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: random-books
I enjoyed this story, especially because I could picture the places in Israel about which the author was writing. I had a bit of a hard time following the movement back and forth across time, and keeping the characters straight in my mind.
Morgan
Dec 23, 2014 Morgan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this novel. I was hoping for deeper meditation on the translation of religious texts and a more interesting use of the text within the novel itself. Instead I got a choppy, over-written and slow novel.
Carole
Jul 23, 2008 Carole rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
Maybe I didn't have enough angst to finish this book. It was slow getting to a point. Maybe I would have liked it if I finished it but it just didn't hold my attention when I have other books calling my name.
Aingeal Stone
Jun 01, 2013 Aingeal Stone rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jewish
Before this story I'd never heard of a genizah, an archive of books and documents that contain the name of G-d, and being a librarian archivist I find it intriguing. Other than that I found the story sad and dismal, though it is very well written.
Pancha
Sep 02, 2009 Pancha marked it as no  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A novel the jumped between the ostensible main character in modern time and her various predecessors (grandfather, great-grandfather, etc). None of the various narrations held much interest for me.
Ruth
Dec 27, 2008 Ruth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
interesting combination of fantastical and family-drama. Lots of good writing in spots, then lapses also in other places.
Susan Beecher
Compelling and very interesting novel mostly placed in Israel. A family history of sorts. I recommend it.
Ferris
Jun 10, 2008 Ferris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great read. A story of family history, Jewish culture, and the ties that bind us. Really well written, culturally rich, and a fabulous plot.
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Tamar Yellin is an author and teacher who lives in Yorkshire. Her first novel, The Genizah at the House of Shepher, won the 2007 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature.

Tamar Yellin was raised in Leeds. Her father was a third-generation native of Jerusalem;[2] his father was Yitzhak Yaakov Yellin (1885–1964), one of the pioneers of the Hebrew language press in pre-state Israel. Her mother was the da
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