Melody




ISBN-13: 9781400063567
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Published: August 2007
240pp



Lillian Leyb comes to America alone, after her family is destroyed in a Russian pogrom. Foreign in a new land and speaks little English, she struggles to fit into this new life of hers and finds work as a seamstress at a Yiddish theater on New York's Lower East Side. There, she meets theater owner Reuben Burstein and his son, Meyer Burstein, a homosexual yet quite a matinee star. She later became their mistresses, though she had a daughter, Sophie and her husband is dead.

Then when she receives news that Sophie might still be alive, she sets her way to Siberia hoping to find her. And there begins her journey and along the way, she meets various kind of people and through these turn of events it will make her to be a stronger person.

Frankly speaking, I had a hard time writing this post. I wanted to like this book and I bought this after reading a good rating from an online book review magazine (And no, I am not going to name it). Besides, there is so much hype about this book so I figure I won't go wrong with it. However, I was greatly disappointed with it. Although I find Away is beautifully written and I think the premise is promising, there were times I find it slow and a drag that I almost wanted to give it up. Still, I really sympathize with Lillian's situation and I applaud her for her determination in finding her daughter under these difficult circumstances, but her encounters with several men made me thinks she is nothing but degrading in herself. I could no longer tell if she is in for the money or if she is just a lonely woman. Towards the second half of the book, I find some of the characters not well developed and things seem to be moving on fast. I regret to say this book is definitely not my cup of tea, although I am fascinated with the cover art.
13 Responses
  1. Alice Teh Says:

    Hi Melody, sorry to hear that this book didn't work out well for you... It happens sometimes.


  2. Iliana Says:

    That cover is pretty isn't it? I'm sorry this one didn't live up to your expectations Melody. I have it on my wish list but probably won't get to it for a while.


  3. I am sorry this book wasn't all you hoped it to be, Melody. I am not too familiar with this particular book, I admit. I do hope you enjoy your next book much better.


  4. Nymeth Says:

    It's too bad this one didn't work for you. Ah well, it happens to all of us sometimes.


  5. Kim L Says:

    Don't you just hate when you want to like a book but you just can't make yourself do it? been there, done that. Maybe the next one will be better! At least you gave it a shot.


  6. Melody Says:

    Alice - Me too. I wanted to like this book; and the cover looks so nice!

    Iliana - That's another reason why I bought this book! ;P I can't wait to hear your thoughts once you've read it though.

    Wendy - It's a pity indeed. I'm definitely hoping the next book will be better. Well, we shall see... :)

    Nymeth - Yeah, this was just one of those moments... but at least I love the cover, hehe.

    Kim - Indeed! I'm keeping fingers crossed that the next one will be better.


  7. Jaimie Says:

    It's ok to not like a book and say so in a respectful way. I think that kind of review is valuable because we cannot like everything that we read, even if given glowing reviews by someone else. Thank you for your honesty. At least you tried to like it!


  8. Melody Says:

    Thanks, Jaimie! I'm feeling so much better after reading your comment. :)


  9. Alice Teh Says:

    I felt the same way when I read "My Name Is Red". It received great reviews from others but the book's just not for me.


  10. Melody Says:

    And that tells a book isn't meant for everybody, hehe. ;)


  11. Kristy Says:

    Melody, I read Away last year and liked it, but I can certainly understand why someone might not like it. It is very raw and there really are too many characters for such a short book. I still liked it though - probably because it was different and I found the characters interesting. There just weren't enough pages to develop them more.


  12. Julia Says:

    Sorry to hear this book wasn't working for you, but you know as they said: sometime what you see on the book cover isn't what you going to get, inside the book :)

    But as everyone said, we can't always like every books..or it be pretty boring :)

    But you did good review on this without being mean about it. That what I like about all your reviews :)


  13. Melody Says:

    Kristy - I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it. It's all about one's reading preferences; I think it'd be boring if all thinks the same thing. ;)

    Julia - That's quite true. And that's why there's this saying: Never judge a book by its cover. And thank you for your kind comment. :)