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By Allegra Goodman (324 Pages)Publisher: Doubleday, 1999
Kaaterskill is the tiny town in upstate New York where Orthodox summer people and Yankee year-rounders live side by side from June through August. It is the summer of 1976, and Elizabeth Shulman, a devout follower of Rav Elijah Kirshner and the mother of five daughters, is restless. Across the street, Andras Melish is drawn to Kaaterskill by his adoring older sisters, the only members of his family to survive the Holocaust. Comforted, yet crippled by his sisters' love, Andras cannot overcome the ambivalence he feels toward his own children and his beautiful young wife. At the top of the hill, Rav Kirshner is coming to the end of his life, and he struggles to decide which of his sons should succeed him: the pious but stolid Isaiah or the brilliant but worldly Jeremy. Behind the scenes, alarmed as his beloved Kaaterskill is overdeveloped by Michael King, the local real estate broker, Judge Miles Taylor keeps an old secret in check, biding his time.
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