Away by Amy Bloom

Away

Amy Bloom

Haunting story of a young Jewish girl who escapes from Russia and the slaughter of her family. She emigrates to New York in the 1920s and survives by becoming the mistress of an impresario. Then she hears that her daughter Sophie may be alive in Siberia and sets off across the continent to find her. A tale of survival at any price and the search for love. Tense and written with edgy realism, it also has a humorous side.

Extract

Everyone has two memories. The one you can tell and the one that is stuck to the underside of that, the dark, tarry smear of what happened. The scar across Lillian's chest is a dull red line. The scar on her shoulder is a fat little oval of rough, ridged purple with a thin curdled edge of whiter skin, made by the hot underside of a steel soup spoon. She has been asked about it a few times, by an interested man, an interested woman. The interests are not the same. There is a curious caress, the soft cluck of the tongue from a man who might break your heart the way he ignores you during dinner but when it comes to the scar later he walks his fingers around and across it to the white buttons of your camisole, like you are a sweet quivering bird, sh-sh-sh. Women say, Pox? Scarlet fever? A man? Oh I have one like that on my thigh, twice that size, you should see, like a wild animal bit me.

Parallels
  • The Outcast by Sadie Jones
  • The Road Home by Rose Tremain

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