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Group Read Discussions > December 2018 Group Read- The Weight of Ink *SPOILERS*

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message 1: by Gretchen, Keep your head up or the crown slips (new)

Gretchen (eab2012) | 564 comments Mod
This is the discussion thread for December's group read, The Weight of Ink. If you wish to discuss the book using spoilers, please post here. If you wish to discuss the books without spoilers, please see the No Spoiler thread.

Set in London of the 1660s and of the early twenty-first century, The Weight of Ink is the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect: Ester Velasquez, an emigrant from Amsterdam who is permitted to scribe for a blind rabbi, just before the plague hits the city; and Helen Watt, an ailing historian with a love of Jewish history.

As the novel opens, Helen has been summoned by a former student to view a cache of seventeenth-century Jewish documents newly discovered in his home during a renovation. Enlisting the help of Aaron Levy, an American graduate student as impatient as he is charming, and in a race with another fast-moving team of historians, Helen embarks on one last project: to determine the identity of the documents’ scribe, the elusive “Aleph.”

Electrifying and ambitious, sweeping in scope and intimate in tone, The Weight of Ink is a sophisticated work of historical fiction about women separated by centuries, and the choices and sacrifices they must make in order reconcile the life of the heart and mind.



message 2: by Irene (new)

Irene Kessler | 40 comments Thanks and that's not a spoiler - at least not for me.


message 3: by Shannon (new)

Shannon | 31 comments Did anyone else notice that Aaron Levy in modern times and the HaLevy family in the seventeenth century have a suspiciously similar last name that is never addressed? I thought for sure Aaron was going to be someone's great-great-grandson.


message 4: by Connie (new)

Connie (connier) | 53 comments Shannon wrote: "Did anyone else notice that Aaron Levy in modern times and the HaLevy family in the seventeenth century have a suspiciously similar last name that is never addressed? I thought for sure Aaron was g..."

I did notice that, but it didn't bother me that it wasn't explored. I thought the end would have Helen Watt somehow related to Ester, but that didn't appear to be true either. I was surprise about Shakespeare though. It is good to have surprises.


message 5: by Connie (new)

Connie (connier) | 53 comments I loved all the characters and the book as a whole. I would have read this quicker, but I have been busier. I would definitely recommend this book to people that love historical fiction. Putting on my counter today to recommend to people.


message 6: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 616 comments I just finished and loved loved loved this book. All the characters kept me engaged (possible favorite: Rivka) and I really enjoyed the author's imagery and intimate, visceral way she described the characters' thoughts and feelings--really put me inside their heads. I liked the symmetries in their stories, which never felt too pat or formulaic. It kept m guessing till the end.

As for the HaLevy/Levy thing, it's just a really common name like Smith, indicating a family that had a tradition of being of the Levite tribe. I wouldn't try to make too much of it--maybe just a way for the author to underscore commonalities and recurring themes between the historical and modern stories.


message 7: by Kymm (new)

Kymm | 1747 comments Shannon wrote: "Did anyone else notice that Aaron Levy in modern times and the HaLevy family in the seventeenth century have a suspiciously similar last name that is never addressed? I thought for sure Aaron was g..." I'm still reading the book, but the name jumped out at me. Wondering if there's any relation.


message 8: by Katy (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 5 comments I thoroughly enjoyed the book.


message 9: by Jenifer (new)

Jenifer (jensamaha) | 7 comments I just finished this yesterday and loved it. I loved the little surprise twist at the end.


message 10: by Jenifer (new)

Jenifer (jensamaha) | 7 comments Abigail wrote: "I just finished and loved loved loved this book. All the characters kept me engaged (possible favorite: Rivka) and I really enjoyed the author's imagery and intimate, visceral way she described the..."

Wouldn't you love a book that followed Rivka's story? We were given just small glimpses into her past but there was so much there.


message 11: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 616 comments Indeed I would! I loved her twist, how she threw a little elbow to make sure Ester didn't underestimate her--and her misery at being compelled to forswear her faith.


message 12: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey | 295 comments I enjoyed this book. Aaron was my favorite character-I loved watching him mature emotionally during his collaboration with Helen. His reflections on his affair with a married woman and the prospect of having a baby (with a different woman!) were the two points that his growth was really illustrated. And Librarian Patricia was awesome.


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