|Plot Summary of Swimming Toward The Ocean|
Carole L. Glickfeld
Knopf, Feb 2001, 24.00, 388 pp.
In 1953 Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn, Russian-Jew Chenia Arnow agrees with her husband Ruben's pronouncement that they cannot afford a third child. Chenia tells the doctor no baby, as she knows they cannot afford a third child plus she is closing in on fifty. Though the doctor gives her a shot to cause a miscarriage, Chenia gives birth to Devorah.
Ruben decides to relocate the family by moving to Manhattan nearer to his lover Trudy. Chenia feels guilt for her own liaison with Harry and his “Magic Shoes”. So a family begins to extend while the parents provide illicit lessons to the next generation on faithfulness, caring, and love.
SWIMMING TOWARDS THE OCEAN is a powerful look at a New York City Jewish family in the 1950s. The story line provides incredible insight into the era that it documents. The key players, Chenia and Ruben come to life through their reactions to her two affairs and his three affairs as seen through the eyes of Devorah, who narrates the story. In this realistic look back in time, Devorah's insightful knowledge of family matters that she would at best know few facts could destroy the feel of the plot, but instead opens the story line even wider. Whether the specifically of the events is true or not, Devorah the narrator believes them to be so and perhaps subconsciously filed in the gaps. Carole L. Glickfeld has written a superb tale that the boomers and probably their children will want to read.
Harriet Klausner, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of Swimming Toward The Ocean|
Our unique search engine provides a wealth of detail about books by breaking them down into many different literary elements, all of which are searchable (click here).
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Tone of book?
Time/era of story
Kind of romance:
- playing footsy while inconveniently married
Inside culture (main char)
Is this an adult or child's book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
Outside culture (society)
- American Northeast
If story of urban/rural...
- Big city life
Major part of story:
- to abort or not abort
Is this an ordinary person caught up in events?
- White (American)
How sensitive is this character?
- middling sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor
- Mostly serious with occasional humor
- Smarter than most other characters
- average physique
- mostly 3rd
Accounts of torture and death?
- no torture/death
- a lot of stream of consciousness
- No single main character?
Amount of dialog
- significantly more descript than dialog
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Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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