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Memories from Cherry Harvest

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  89 ratings  ·  40 reviews
“When I remember Russia, I ache with longing for the village of my birth, where the beloved grandparents magically produced candy in a handshake and told stories of long ago when God spoke to humans and enchantments filled the world.” So begins Amy Wachspress’s historical novel, spanning 70 years and five continents, Memories from Cherry Harvest.

Two Jewish sisters, born in
Paperback, 394 pages
Published June 19th 2012 by Soft Skull Press (first published June 1st 2012)
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3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  89 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Mar 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
A book that contains the charm only a true storyteller can create. A story that celebrates life without turning away from its horrors and celebrates the extraordinariness of ordinary individuals reminding us that we all contribute much more than we think to this complicated world we live in.

This is an excellent read full of important life lessons captured within fascinating storytelling. The first part of the book is the most interesting and though the pace slows down a bit in the second half, i
May 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-won
I received this book through the First Reads giveaway program on Goodreads. Review to follow!

This is a gift for my grandmother, so when she finishes this book I'll post her review.

Grandmother didn't go into much detail, only to say that she LOVED this beautiful book, even though it made her cry a few times!
Apr 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
I won this book through the First Reads program. I was deeply moved by the characters and relationships in this book. I love multi-generational stories and this one was well executed. I wish that Wachspress didn't feel the need to have the characters spell out the point so deliberately, but overall I was impressed by her writing.
Aug 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the first half of this book much more than the second, but overall I would recommend this book. It is a multi-generational family story filled with hardships and joys, and women with different personalities and beliefs. I think anyone could relate to at least one of the main characters. I really liked the author's style of writing which was engaging and lyrical.
Jul 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I dont give out 5 stars very often but I loved this book. It even made me cry. I was totally invested in each of the characters and it made me think about things in my own life. Love!!
May 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Memories from Cherry Harvest is the story of four generations of women. With the early image of grandmother’s head impaled on a stake as the family escapes their village in Russia, we know we are meeting a family with a story to tell. Wachpress gently weaves the spiritual and political drama each generation of women experience into a beautiful tale. Each generation will be compelled to political activism and take action in her own way.

Sisters Ruth and Rivka are the heart and soul of the book. T
May 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was my first giveaway win and I LOVED it! It was a great story that told about the lives of three generations of women from one family. It had an excellent story line that made it hard for me to put down, I basically read it in two days. And now I have passed it on to my Grandma who I'm sure is going to love it. The author did an excellent job of making the characters come alive and giving you a feel of what there lives were like while telling a wonderful story about a family and what becom ...more
Jul 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book resonates with me in so many ways. This is a multigenerational tale that takes place over seventy years and throughout the world (Russia, Palestine, Europe and the United States.)

I could spend a great deal of time writing about why I loved this book, but I do not have such free time so I will abbreviate: Judaism, family relationships. immigration issues, the Holocaust and all of the horrible ramifications, race relations, art, farming etc etc etc.

I would be honored to meet author Amy W
Colleen Maclennan
Jul 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Totally enjoyed reading this book. The women portrayed were all strong characters who dealt with many adversities in their lives but still managed to have productive lives. I enjoyed how the author went back and forth in lives of his female characters. The male characters had some flaws but there commitment to their women was exemplary. This book dealt with race, religion, relationships, good and evil. Just a good read.
Oct 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
I agree with other reviews that this book is far stronger in the first half than the second -- better in the historical long frame than in the more contemporary close up.
Nonetheless, the dynamic view of these characters from pogrom to Palestine, and to Communism, French resistance and American isolationism makes for a fascinating vision of change over a lifetime.
There is a lot in it.
Apr 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved reading "Memories from Cherry Harvest" so much, that as soon as I finished the book, I read it for a second time.
Amy Wachspress tells this multigenerational family story with a brilliant storyline and with thorough detail. Her creative combination of relating history, relationships, life's difficulties and joys made this excellent story. I highly recommend this book.
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Really good read, but I don't think it was able to sustain the momentum of its first part, which took place during World War II. The later parts, which took place in contemporary time, just weren't quite as interesting.

And I don't think I ever said this about a book I liked before, but I think it may have been a bit too long...
Miko Lee
Nov 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
What a treat this book was! Spanning decades and lives of three generations of women from Russia to Palestine to France to New York. Experiences as deep as WWII, the holocaust, the beat era, the cold war, the death of Kennedy, the marches of Dr. King and the El Salvadoran sanctuary movement. Told with humor, love and depth of character. I was taken away into many lands!
Jeannette ★
May 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
I won this book through Goodreads First Reads.

I was entranced right from the very first page, it's such a wonderful book. The storyline was captivating & I loved reading the different character's points of view. There was a decent mixture of politics, romance, family... just a little bit of everything to keep it interesting.
Aug 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
Started out great and I so enjoyed part I. Second part I began to wonder if I even wanted to finish the book, it dragged so much. Part III was a little better but no where near as good as part I. That's why the 2** rating.
May 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
Thank you, Goodreads for my First Reads Copy!

I really enjoyed how the author told 3 different stories of strong woman characters and everything that they went through in there lives. Excellent book.
Brittany Nelson
Sep 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was such a rich story! I will be processing this for some time. This was definitely one of the best books I have ever read! I may return to this review later, once I've thought about it some more.
May 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I won this book from first-reads give away and it could not have been a more perfect book for me. This was a beautifully and imaginatively told story that spanned several generations of women.
Angie Hardy
May 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book from the GoodReads First Reads program. I liked this book quite a bit. I love the histroy aspect and the strong female characters.
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
lyrical, enchanted. would recommend for a heart warming story
Julie Harmon
Jul 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
LOVED this book! In my top 5 for sure!
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 2017
This book is a doozy in the best of ways. It is long, the pages are dense with words, all of them beautiful, and it will truly leave you speechless. I found that nearly every other line was "quote-worthy" and had me furiously scribbling lines I didn't want to forget. The story spans multiple generations, so you will need to buckle up and pay your closest attention because there are a lot of very complex, intricate, amazing characters. We start with young Rivka, Ruth, Miriam, and Avram, Russian J ...more
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a very interesting book about a family leaving Russian when the Pogroms started, and going to Palestine. It is a story told through many generations. It was a very good book. The only issue I had was that there were so many characters, I had difficulty remembering who was connected to whom.
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I truly thought this book was exceptional. Just loved the story, the characters, it was just wonderful. The best part is I got this book for free as part of
Mary Kelly
Jul 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Allison Backman
May 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads, own-it
Meh. I'm disappointed to give this book such a low rating because it appeared that the rest of the GR community enjoyed it! I won it during a Firstreads giveaway and was excited to read about some of the history of pogroms, occupied Palestine, the Holocaust, etc. I was disappointed to read that the book seemed historically inaccurate and inconsistent with regards to character development and description. (Is it possible that Miriam, a 5-year-old girl in the 1920's in Palestine, would be wearing ...more
May 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book through a First Reads giveaway. I seriously took me forever to get through.
The story is split up through generations of women all belonging to the same family. The first section of the book was very difficult to get through because of the emotional nature of the experiences of the characters. I found myself only able to read a chapter at a time.
The middle section I think ended too quickly. I would have liked there to have been more there.
The very last "chapter" was the bes
Nov 26, 2012 rated it liked it
This book had elements that I really liked and elements that I didn't like at all. So I feel torn about suggesting it. I like the multi-generation family story, a blend of history and race issues and drama and homelife and romance, the background of the Holocaust, and really well-developed characters (mostly women). I didn't like the writing style, I longed for more poetry, color, description and art. I hardly feel like I know what the characters were supposed to look like or where they lived. A ...more
May 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
In this stunning multi-generational saga, you will read an engrossing account of a Russian Jewish family's plight to escape the Russian pogroms that have engulfed them. They flee to Palestine as refugees, seeking a safer life, and hoping to find a true Zionistic home.

What follows is the tale of each family member's life. In heart wrenching detail, these lives unfold and draw you into their world. This story contains an unforgettably rich cast of characters that will leave you weeping, laughing,
Feb 28, 2013 rated it did not like it
Several generations of narrators contribute their tales to create a book beginning with one Jewish family who fled Russia to Palestine before WWII. The book had promise until the end of the war, about 1/3 of the way through it. After that, the author's goal seems to be simply to promote her favorite politically-charged causes and promote her belief in reincarnation. Even worse, despite different characters telling their stories, the entire book is told with the same narrative voice--Ms. Wachspre ...more
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Conversations with the Author 6 10 Jul 13, 2012 11:24AM  

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Amy Wachspress has her M.A. in English Language and Literature and is a certified holistic nutritionist. She makes a living as a grant writer, and in that capacity has helped secure more than $200 million in grant funds for worthy projects in more than 40 states. She is the author of "Memories from Cherry Harvest" (fiction, Counterpoint Press, 2012) and "The Call to Shakabaz" (children's fantasy a ...more