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Reuben Sachs (LibriVox Audio)

3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  156 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Reuben Sachs is a London lawyer whose political aspirations do not include marriage to Judith Quixano, the daughter of a respectable but unexceptional family. But without Reuben, a woman like Judith might have a bleak future in mid-19th century England: a loveless marriage or lifelong dependency are apparently her only options...

A feminist, a Jew, and a lesbian, Amy Levy w
MP3 Audio
Published January 22nd 2008 by (first published 1888)
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Apr 06, 2013 Rosemary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: persephone
Reuben Sachs is a short novel written by a young British Jewish woman (she was in her 20s) in the 1880s, that consciously sets out to enlarge or correct the picture of the British Jewish community set out by George Eliot in Daniel Deronda. Amy Levy seems to have felt that George Eliot painted a picture that was at once too romantic and “eastern” and too homogeneous. Through the description of the various connections of Reuben Sachs, a young politician, Amy Levy shows us different attitudes and c ...more
Jan 16, 2011 Ali rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautifully crafted little novel. The language is faultless, pared down to only that which is needed, yet at the same time painting an unforgetable picture of Anglo-Jewish life at the end of the 19th century. The story is that of Reuben Sachs abnd his cousin Judith Quixano. Much is expected of young Reuben, and Judith is a poor relation, and a romance between them would be unthinkable in the gossipy, snobbish community they live in. In terms of plot it might be fair to say that not muc ...more
Jul 26, 2015 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
My first Persephone!

Reuben Sachs sounded incredibly promising when I came across it in Skoob, my absolute favourite second hand book store in London. The blurb describes it as a 'feminist plea' and 'praised by Oscar Wilde'. Well, I just had to pick that up. However, upon finishing the novel, I can't help but feel a little underwhelmed.

Unfortunately, the first two thirds of the story was rather dull. We follow Reuben himself and Judith Quixano, two young Jews in London. Although it seems that Amy
Few imprints deliver books of such consistent quality as Persephone. At first I found this novella heavy-going, because of tirades against the way Jews look and behave on almost every page. Apparently the author was very ambivalent towards her own background, which may account partly for her suicide when she was 27 years old. But the story does gather momentum, and builds towards a thoroughly satisfying finale. In the end I found it not only a curio but a genuine if slight achievement. The topic ...more
Jun 24, 2014 Romily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, persephone
This novel was almost as interesting for its author as for its subject matter. Amy Levy is surprisingly little-known: a highly-educated British Jew, who attended Cambridge in the 1880s, travelled widely and published poetry and fiction before her early death by suicide at the young age of 27. Reuben Sachs (1888) is her most famous work and though slight of plot it packs into its 150 pages a kaleidoscope of Jewish characters, their different characteristics described with great skill. From the ol ...more
Sep 08, 2012 Tara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Leaves you wondering what more Amy Levy might have achieved had she not committed suicide in 1889, in her late 20s. After reading this novel, Oscar Wilde described Levy as 'a girl of genius', and in many ways she was a precursor of modernism. She admired Jane Austen and that influence is clear in the plot and her ironic style. However her darker vision also encompassed a critique of capitalism and a feminist perspective.
Paul Taylor
A Jewish Thomas Hardy. Starcrossed lovers who take choices that suit their circumstances and peer group rather than following their heart. The choices they take prove fatal, both literally and metaphorically. That the novel was said to be anti-Semitic and panned by critics probably contributed to the depression that lead to the tragic suicide of the author.
Elizabeth Wix
Mar 26, 2014 Elizabeth Wix rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rather slow at the beginning and unfortunate that Amy Levy has been called "the Jewish Jane Austen". Her character descriptions are not in the least Austenesque
but the book is utterly readable and we do feel for the characters.
A bit too much discussion of'the race of Shem' for modern taste but this book is very much of its period and definitely worth reading.
Betsie Bush
Jan 28, 2009 Betsie Bush rated it really liked it
I really didn't expect the ending... the book isn't really about the title character at all.
Sep 22, 2016 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The writing style for this Victorian era novel felt modern and not very stuffy at all. I found it hard to believe that this was written around the time Daniel Deronda was written (the book is a little bit of a riposte to George Eliot's overly exotic, romantic treatment of Jewish characters in that book).

It is about an extended Jewish family in England during the 1800s, and mainly centers around the romantic sparks that fly between a young up-and-coming politician (Reuben Sachs) and his adoptive
Yara (The Narratologist)
Reuben Sachs is the second Persephone Books work to be featured on my website and I was very excited to get my hands on it. Social satire written by a young Victorian woman? Yes please! Oscar Wilde himself had nothing but praise for the book:

Its directness, its uncompromising truths, its depth of feeling, and, above all, its absence of any single superfluous word, make it, in some sort, a classic. Like all [Levy’s] best work it is sad, but the sadness is by no means morbid. The strong undertone
Gillian Kevern
I love Jane Austen. The comparison of Amy Levy to Austen featured in Persephone's description of the book is what prompted me to pick up Reuben Sachs. I think the comparison is apt, but gave me entirely the wrong impression. I expected something light and sparkling, cutting but fond in the way of Austen's romances. It quickly becomes apparent that there is no happy ending possible to Reuben Sachs, and I left the novel unread and disappointed.

When I picked it up tonight, I knew what I was gettin
Melissa Kunz
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Edwin John Moorhouse Marr
Beautiful little gem of a book. Wonderfully written with heavy, ponderous prose, and lively and realistic characters. I just felt so much for the pain Judith goes through, Levy just sits back, and lets the reader absorb the images and emotions she creates. I also love how everything just occurs gently within the background. A truly touching book.
Dec 10, 2012 StrangeBedfellows rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is the sort of book that I would never have picked up had I not been required to read it for class. It's dry, tedious, uneventful . . . really not a pleasure to read. There's a cleverness to Levy's writing, true. And the illustration of Anglo-Jewish life was interesting. Nevertheless, it was difficult to get through, and I will likely never pick it up again.
Dec 04, 2012 Lizzie marked it as to-read-off-my-shelf  ·  review of another edition
Having a little public-domain e-book downloading spree.
Another book seemingly inspired by Daniel Deronda, but a good one.
Apr 06, 2015 Madison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#8 A book written by someone under 30
Feb 24, 2013 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: librivox
Interesting glimpse into Jewish life in Victorian London. (Listened to Librivox.)
Linda Frommer
Dec 10, 2014 Linda Frommer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Exquisite small jewel.
Jane Metter
A fascinating and controversial view of 19th Century Anglo Jewry -
Shannon Greaney
Shannon Greaney rated it it was ok
Jun 08, 2014
Name rated it really liked it
Sep 27, 2013
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Mar 12, 2011
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May 08, 2010
Kelley rated it really liked it
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  • Consequences
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Levy was born in Clapham, London, the second daughter of Lewis Levy and Isobel Levin. Her Jewish family was mildly observant, but as an adult Levy no longer practised Judaism; she continued to identify with the Jews as a people.

She was educated at Brighton High School, Brighton, and studied at Newnham College, Cambridge; she was the first Jewish student at Newnham, when she arrived in 1879, but le
More about Amy Levy...

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