The Mystics of Mile End

The Mystics of Mile End

A Novel

eBook - 2015
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Sigal Samuel's debut novel, in the vein of Nicole Krauss's bestselling The History of Love, is an imaginative story that delves into the heart of Jewish mysticism, faith, and family."This is not an ordinary tree I am making."This," he said, "this is the Tree of Knowledge." In the half-Hasidic, half-hipster Montreal neighborhood of Mile End, eleven-year-old Lev Meyer is discovering that there may be a place for Judaism in his life. As he learns about science in his day school, Lev begins his own extracurricular study of the Bible's Tree of Knowledge with neighbor Mr. Katz, who is building his own Tree out of trash. Meanwhile his sister Samara is secretly studying for her Bat Mitzvah with next-door neighbor and Holocaust survivor, Mr. Glassman. All the while his father, David, a professor of Jewish mysticism, is a non-believer.When, years later, David has a heart attack, he begins to believe God is speaking to him. While having an affair with one of his students, he delves into the complexities of Kabbalah. Months later Samara, too, grows obsessed with the Kabbalah's Tree of Life-hiding her interest from those who love her most-and is overcome with reaching the Tree's highest heights. The neighbors of Mile End have been there all along, but only one of them can catch her when she falls.
Publisher: 2015.
ISBN: 9780062412188
Branch Call Number: eBook Overdrive
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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eferry Jan 09, 2016

This story focuses on a family whose ties to religion and academia bind them together and pull them apart. The father, son, and daughter all have complicated relationships to their Jewish heritage, which, over the years narrated in the novel, wax and wane and lead to both tragedy and hope.

Kim__M Jul 14, 2015

I recently finished this book, having hoped for the insight ,wit and cynicism of a Mordecai Richler, whose writing I sorely miss. This book did not deliver in that respect, and perhaps my expectations were unfair. I did enjoy the attempt at magical realism, though not nearly as much as I did in One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez who is a master. The characters in "Mystics..." were interesting but I found myself becoming frustrated with their some of their actions and decisions. All in all the reading experience wasn't what I had hoped but I'm always in search of new Canadian authors so it was worth the time to investigate. (I really liked Linda Little's Scotch River, a book set in small town NS.)


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