On the Shore
Set in 1917-1925, On the Shore follows the upheaval in an immigrant Jewish family when a son lies about his name and age to fight in WWI. Without telling his family, 16-year-old Shmuel Levinson (a.k.a. Sam Lord) strives to prove his manhood and escape his father's pressure that he become a rabbi by enlisting in the Navy. His smart but rebellious younger sister, Dev, mourns his disappearance, while chafing against her father's expectation that she marry instead of pursuing a career in science. Their successful uncle, Gershon Mendel, confronts failure when he ventures beyond their sheltered Lower East Side community to search for the missing boy. On the Shore offers a poignant look at the strained relationships that trouble the multi-generation immigrant families of today as well as yesteryear.
- Paperback | 296 pages
- 140 x 216 x 17mm | 376g
- 21 Apr 2017
- Vine Leaves Press
- Illustrations, black and white
"Ann S. Epstein has brought vividly to life a time and place in "On the Shore." This is character-rich and lyrical fiction. There are stories within stories here-moving, meaningful, and memorable. Epstein renders this world with precision, compassion, and special attention to the beautiful. To read this work is to live in its reality, to linger among its moments. An experience both rich and riveting is offered in each of this novel's skilfully crafted scenes." LAURA KASISCHKE, author of MIND OF WINTER, THE RAISING, AND THE LIFE BEFORE HER EYES ************* "Ann S. Epstein's novel of a second generation Jewish immigrant's decision to enlist in the navy at sixteen and fight for his country in World War I, transports the reader to New York City at the beginning of the previous century, as well as theatres of conflict in Europe, through stunningly lucid prose and characters whose complexities emerge through struggle. Though three characters' points-of view are braided in this novel of epic sweep and breadth, Epstein never loses sight of the personal, and as engaged as we are in Shmuel's odyssey and quest for identity overseas, it's in the void his disappearance leaves in his family back home that the novel hits its mark and leaves its powerful resonance and lasting impression." DANIEL MUELLER, author of HOW ANIMALS MATE AND NIGHTS I DREAMED OF HUBERT HUMPHREY ************* ..". a moving story of multi-generation immigrant families with characters that feel almost contemporary. With a careful eye for the bygone-era details and freshness of language, Ann S. Epstein makes you breathe the air of that distant time and place." DEEPAK SINGH, author of HOW MAY I HELP YOU? AN IMMIGRANT'S JOURNEY FROM MBA TO MINIMUM WAGE ************* "Ann S. Epstein takes history seriously, her research meticulous, her eye for the bizarre detail unerring. Even so, she manages to inject even the gravest moments with a unique, wry sense of humor. Her work reminds us, sometimes painfully, sometimes delightfully, of the everyman experience that is so easily, tragically lost in our rush to tame the chaos of the past and move on." AMY GUSTINE, author of YOU SHOULD PITY US INSTEAD ************* "Ann S. Epstein, an intricate storyteller, has recreated a culture and era of a century ago through the eyes of three characters, Sam, his sister and his uncle. Their dilemmas resonate today: What makes a person an adult? Can one embrace change and maintain tradition? And how does love-filial, paternal, or romantic-affect all of this? The immigrant Jewish culture of New York is portrayed like a matryoshka doll, a culture within a culture within a culture. Ann opens each layer for the reader to see. And at the core is the answer, the circle back to the questions." JEANNE SIROTKIN, author of WRESTLING THE BEAR, WINNER OF THE 2011 SFA PRESS PRIZE IN FICTION