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Four Mothers: A Novel
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Four Mothers: A Novel

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  158 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Shifra Horn's beautifully imagined novel tells the story of five generations of women in one family against the backdrop of one hundred years in Jerusalem.

The story begins with the birth of the family's first boy to Amal, the last generation. Her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother are overjoyed, because the birth of a healthy boy means that the curse against the wom
Paperback, 276 pages
Published June 10th 2000 by Picador (first published 1997)
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Jan 10, 2010 K rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of "The Red Tent" and similar power to the sisterhood/who needs men books
This doesn’t really merit a summary, but here it is – five generations of women suffer a curse which results in their being abandoned by their husbands around the time they deliver their first child. From here, you can probably write the book yourself – typical chick lit saga of mothers and daughters, each with her own story. Apparently, Israel is not immune to the tired marketing ploy of, “Middle aged women, I just know you’ll love to read me in your book clubs and will uncritically accept all ...more
The matrilineal descent of a Middle Eastern family fueled by magical realism reminded me of Dora Levy Mossanen's Harem. Both of these authors were born in Tel Aviv. Four Mothers was an award-winning work published in 1996 in Hebrew that I read in English translation. Harem was published in 2002 in English, and I would be really surprised if the influence didn't come from Shifra Horn.

I never quite know what to do with these long family sagas that don't have an obvious endpoint or goal, but I am a
Angie Dowling
Amazing book that empowers women. Glad I came across this author to review for my blog. The book was amazing. I couldn't put it down.
A wonderful family saga.

This is yet another book which I have read in just a few hours, but it wasn't due to simple content or easy language. It was just so magical and facinating. Exactly the kind of books I like.

It is not a fantasy book, but it has an element of fantasy which goes through it in a way which reminds me of 'one hundred years of solitude'.

This book was aritten by an Israeli author, and although it tells the story of an Israeli family, and of Jerusalem throughout four generations,
Amanda Leah
facinating! Different to anything I've read before.
Suanne Laqueur
One of the best books I've ever read.
A friend of mine raved about this so I got a copy for myself. What a page-turner. I kept thinking "something's gotta happen soon" and pressed on, but no. Nothing happened. Four generations in a single book. Daughter hates mother, admires Grandmother, messes up life, has a baby. Or something like that, to be fair I've forgotten already. And it didn't even help me get into my friend's pants.
Although I really liked another one of this author's books (Ode to Joy), this one didn't do anything for me. It's the story of five generations of women in a family in Jerusalem. Women in this family somehow have been "cursed" with losing their husbands, one way or another, when they have daughters. For me the story became tedious.
While each individual story of each woman is well-done, the threads between these strong characters are thinly stretched, as if each generation lived almost in isolation from the others. Still, powerful characters and it is always interesting to read a story that is grounded in a place I am interested in but do not know well.
This has been sitting in my bookcase for ages. Ages and years. And it was wonderful, chock full of my favorite things: generational stories, magical realism, Judaism, and a fairy tale feel. The only thing it needed was an epistolary chapter, and I would've declared it perfect. ;)
I couldnt put this book down! A great way to spend a snowy, cold day. A modern day woman in Jerusalem retelling the history of her family- 4 mothers and their interesting lives. Lots of interesting stories, some a little far-fetched but totally engaging. Lots of think about.
Susan Baker
Written with a droll sense of humor Ms. Horn captures the essence of four generations of mother-daughter relationships in an ever-changing world...mothers clinging to long-standing traditions, daughters grasping at the unknown future. Beautiful!
this is the only shifra horn book i've read but i was engulfed by her writing style and have read this book a few times now. glad to see she has other published works for me to read!
Set in Jerusalem, this book deals with the lives of 5 generations of women. Beautifully written, this author is the Jewish equivalent of Isabel Allende.
Not BRILLIANT writing...but ok. About four generations of women in Jerusalem - novel, not bio/auto/ is ok.
eh. It's ok. Bought in Irael because it is a novel about 4 generations of Israeli it's ok.
I really, really tried to read this book. I could not make it past the first 100 pages.
This was good, but at the end I thought: "What is the point?"
very earthy book, all women's business. enjoyed it.
Exquisitely written, and fully engrossing novel.
Shifra Horn at her best
Mary Beth Munlin
Mary Beth Munlin marked it as to-read
Mar 17, 2015
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