Editorial Review

Publishers Weekly

Cover: The Family with Two Front Doors

“Ciddor’s lively novel transports readers to the Jewish quarter of the town of 1920s Lublin, Poland, where the Rabinovitch family of 11 (including a rabbi father, a mother, and their nine children) carries out its Orthodox traditions in both rambunctious and respectful style. Reverence and love for the religious and cultural rituals are seen through the eyes of two of the younger children: enthusiastic 10-year-old Nomi (named for the author’s grandmother, whose memories were the basis for the book) and mischievous eight-year-old Yakov. The story is rich in sensory details—food is always being bought, prepared, eagerly anticipated, and savored—and flows with energetic family dynamics and warmth, though it’s somewhat light on plot. The narrative centers on the betrothal of 15-year-old Adina, the family’s eldest girl, and on preparations for her arranged marriage; the major element of suspense is whether she will have to leave Lublin for faraway Warsaw after the wedding. Apart from one scene in which the children are harassed for being Jews, the story maintains a positive tone, offering a sympathetic look at traditional Jewish life in an earlier era. A glossary of Jewish and Yiddish words and an author’s note are included. Ages 8–12” – Publisher’s weekly

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The Family with Two Front Doors
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