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Us and Them
Growing up in Cape Town as the only child of orthodox Jews who escaped the Holocaust, Jen rebels against the religious beliefs and superstitions her parents impose on her. Her aim in life is simply to have fun. But she quickly finds she can escape neither her heritage nor the consequences of her choices. Jen’s life is overshadowed by the dybbuk – the malign force that she ...more
Paperback, 334 pages
Published July 31st 2012 by Penguin Books (South Africa)
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South African Women Writers Who Have Recommended Books August 2015
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Jen, the three-letter girl, changed her name when she was still a toddler, trying her best to get rid of the Jewish identity that her Holocaust surviving parents tried to thrust on her. She becomes a rebellious teenager and ultimately shames her family when she becomes pregnant with a non-Jew’s children. Forced to marry the Irishman, Gordon Sullivan, she soon discovers that her parents’ fears, religion and superstitions has rubbed off on her more than she could have ever imagined and in turn she ...more
Sensitive to the power of the family for good and ill, even as it reaches back through the generations, this beautifully constructed novel shows how, despite the damage many of us have suffered, the life we live is still what counts. History cannot be ignored but it can be harnessed. We do not have to be victims. Recommended.