Years from Now – G. Glickman

YFN(Not discussed by the group but written in a personal capacity.)

The author was partner to fellow write David Leavitt. He is also a psychotherapist and grew up in a small town in New Jersey (Morristown). He studied Music and Literature at Brown University and has an MFA in Writing from the Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa. This book would have been interesting but it didn’t grip me – something I discover from those who have done some sort of creative writing course in order to get their story into print, regardless of whether it is interesting or now.

 We are in America where Jews want to hide their identity. Being American comes before being Jewish. Ok – we get Pesach and Purim but…

David and Beth know how much is expected of them- prosperity, marriage and the continuation of the line. Yet neither, from instinct and inclination, can follow the family path. David is gay, and loves Andrew, a fellow medical student. Beth is a lesbian but loves David, her closest friend who understands her deepest conflicts and needs. Their journey in self-discovery, and the choices they make, are at the heart of this powerful novel of family life and relationships.

YFN 2This book follows the Levin family through six decades of births, deaths, celebrations, secrets and disappointments- from the childhood of Zellie, David’s  mother, to the birth and infancy of her first grandchild. Descendants of the eleven daughters of a Russian- Jewish émigré, the family migrated West over the years until it reached the small New Jersey town of Lewiston. There, between mountains and city, they settled and prospered, and their children grew up in a world of intimacy and easy bounty. Some brilliantly fulfil family hopes, with shining careers, heirs and ordered lives; for others there is a tragedy of waste and broken dreams. Tired of secrecy, David, the gifted son, finds unexpected tolerance at home for the confession of what he is and who he loves. Beth is a more pliant hostage to tradition and her own family’s needs.

The book explores with humour, insight and sensitivity the conflict between selfhood and the family bond, filial and sexual love.

Return to the home page

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: