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Sharon Chisvin


By Sharon Chisvin

Although I have never actually used a Kindle or any other kind of e-reader device, I feel confident saying publicly that I cannot imagine it ever replacing for me the pleasure I get in holding a real book in my hands. Part of the joy of reading, I think, comes from the simple act of turning the page. A real book with real pages gives you opportunities that an electronic device cannot. It allows you to flip ahead to see how much is left to read in a chapter, flip back to reread a particularly poetic or important passage, and even to turn down a corner to remind you where you have left off. A real book can be tucked into a purse, read in a bathtub or left in the glove compartment for those times when you arrive early to an appointment. Most important, a real book can be lent out, passed along from one appreciative reader to another, and even be gifted to someone for keeps.
When I read The Tricking of Freya last spring, I immediately thought of several people who I knew would like and appreciate the novel. That list included, as it almost always does, my daughters, niece and sister, and a few friends as well. A year later it gives me great joy to report that I have lent the book to each and every one of them and each of them has read it and very much enjoyed it. The novel has travelled from Winnipeg to Gimli, to Toronto, to New York, to Israel, to Spain, and back to Winnipeg, where it now sits where it started on my family room shelf. That would not have happened if I had downloaded it on to a Kindle.

While The Tricking of Freya was released over a year ago, it is one of my two recommendations for today… 

The Tricking of Freya
by Christina Sunley
St. Martin’s Press

 In this captivating coming of age tale a Connecticut teenager spends her summers in the small Manitoba town of Gimli, where her mother grew up. While there, she falls under the spell of her Aunt Birdie, an excitable and exciting woman obsessed with the family’s ancestral home in Iceland. This beautifully written novel deftly captures the landscape and lore of Birdie’s past and present homes, while delving deep into the workings of a family struggling with secrets, loyalty and madness. 

The Murderer’s Daughters                                                                            
by Randy Susan Meyers
St. Martin’s Press

Secrets, loyalty and madness also are at the core of this eloquent and engaging debut novel. Here the story revolves around two Jewish sisters who witness their mother’s murder at the hands of their father, and the way in which they each deal with the experience for the rest of their lives. While the novel occasionally veers into melodrama, the relationship between the sisters, and their faltering attempts to shield each other from pain, comes across as achingly real. 

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.