Ira Therebel's Reviews > The Puttermesser Papers: A Novel

The Puttermesser Papers by Cynthia Ozick
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May 24, 12

bookshelves: philosophy, fiction, american-literature
Read in May, 2012

This book consists of five separate parts that describe different stages in Ruth Puttermesser's life starting with her being age 34 and starting in a...more This book consists of five separate parts that describe different stages in Ruth Puttermesser's life starting with her being age 34 and starting in a law firm and ending with her death and after life.

I am worried with not giving this book a fair rating because there are many positive things in it and I can see how it can get highest rating from other people. But for me there are several problems in this book that don't let me enjoy it to the fullest.

This book is not for everyone. The writing style is perfect. There are many ideas and quotes in this book that make one think which adds to the experience of reading it. At the same time it is hard to completely appreciate this book without having some extra knowledge on the themes used by the author.

I loved the last two parts. I could appreciate the story about her Soviet cousin coming to USA because I know many details about USSR and Perestroika so I could appreciate many references made and also have a better understanding of Lidia and her view on states and the life she actually desired. The finale was beautifully written and I really liked the main idea of what Paradise is.

At the same time I really struggled through the part in which Ruth creates a golem, because my knowledge on golems is very limited. I did understand what the golem represented, but I didn't know enough to get it in better depth. It was also a bit too abstract for my taste.

I would recommend this book to the ones who already have some knowledge of the themes in the book. Others will miss out too much to really like it.
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