On the Sickle’s Edge by Neville D. Frankel is a novel following generations of Russian Jews and their struggle with their religion, society and economic system. Mr. Frankel was born in South Africa and immigrated to Boston.
I liked almost everything about On the Sickle’s Edge by Neville D. Frankel. The novel is ambitious, flows well, and interesting to read. I’m always up for a good book, especially one with Jewish themes in Eastern Europe.
The author tells a powerful story and doesn’t shy away from geopolitical events and the impact they had on people. The narrative is very absorbing and powerful, I was especially fascinated to read how decisions in the upper echelons of government impact the little person on the street who just wants a good job and a warm meal.
I did not care for the ending though, it did not fit the narrative the author built. The story turned from a wonderful family saga, into an action/adventure story which I found to be a very strange choice.
The cover is also a strange choice, I usually don’t pay much attention to covers but this one seemed strange. Usually I judge whether or not I’d pick up a book in the store or a library by its cover (for example, I know to stay away from romance books because of the covers, that way I don’t waste my time reading synopsis of book I’m most likely not going to like), this one though I would pass by. For a book about generations of Russian Jews, a picture depicting Jesus on the cover seems strange. The cover does fit the book, actually it’s very appropriate but you would only know that after you finished reading most, or all, 474 pages.
A cover and an ending aside, I really did enjoy this novel. The saga the novel tells is fascinating and exciting, even though the novel is a bit long, it’s hard to put down.
The book follows three generations of the same family, trapped in the USSR. Lena, born in South Africa and brought back to Russia, only to find herself stuck there. Darya, Lena’s granddaughter and a true believer in Communism who is becoming disillusioned with the system she loves. Steven, a Boston painter who accidently stumbles into a family he doesn’t know.
Zohar — Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I got this book for free as part of a TLC Book Tours
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