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The Angry Gods

by Wendy Brandmark

Told from the different viewpoints of Sonia and Helen, a Jewish mother and daughter in 1970s’ New York, who think they have nothing in common; but as they each tell their story, it becomes obvious that they do. They just can’t communicate. Helen is a teenager who feels restricted by her home life and especially by her relationship with her mother. Sonia reminisces about an illicit love affair with a black poet before she met and married Helen’s father – if only Sonia would talk about this with Helen. Altogether an involving but sad read.

Extract

The rabbi is not touched by the sun; his face remains pale, his long, fine hands were cold as he handed me the goblet, in his dark suit he is like the figures my children used to cut from black paper and paste on white. My face flushes from the heat as he talks about how I as wife and someday mother must be the keeper of our God. For me to stray even one moment is to lose eternity.
As he stares at me I feel he must know I lay with a Gentile, a colored man whose flesh still burns within me.

Parallels

Family Secrets by David Leitch
After You'd Gone by Maggie O'Farrell
Strange Fruit by Lillian Smith
 

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