The Two-Family House: A Novel

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"An emotional but dreamy novel that...will transport you far, far away from your next dreary Monday morning. You may do a lot of sobbing, but don't worry, you'll be smiling by the end." —Bustle, "12 Spring Break Reads To Help You Escape Normal Life"

**Buzzfeed, "14 Of The Most Buzzed-About Books"

**Popsugar, "6 Books You Should Read"

"A novel you won't be able to put down." —Diane Chamberlain, New York Times bestselling author

Brooklyn, 1947: In the midst of a blizzard, in a two-family brownstone, two babies are born, minutes apart. The mothers are sisters by marriage: dutiful, quiet Rose, who wants nothing more than to please her difficult husband; and warm, generous Helen, the exhausted mother of four rambunctious boys who seem to need her less and less each day. Raising their families side by side, supporting one another, Rose and Helen share an impenetrable bond forged before and during that dramatic winter night.

When the storm passes, life seems to return to normal; but as the years progress, small cracks start to appear and the once deep friendship between the two women begins to unravel. No one knows why, and no one can stop it. One misguided choice; one moment of tragedy. Heartbreak wars with happiness and almost, but not quite, wins. Moving and evocative, Lynda Cohen Loigman's debut novel The Two-Family House is a heart-wrenching, gripping multigenerational story, woven around the deepest of secrets.

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About the author

Lynda Cohen Loigman grew up in Longmeadow, MA. She received a B.A. in English and American Literature from Harvard College and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. She is now a student of the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College, and lives with her husband and two children in Chappaqua, NY. The Two-Family House is her first novel.
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Additional Information

Publisher
St. Martin's Press
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Published on
Mar 8, 2016
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9781466888883
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Historical / General
Fiction / Jewish
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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A multigenerational saga of an immigrant Jewish family in America—from Hester Street to San Francisco—by a New York Times–bestselling author.
 
Katie Kovitz is seventeen years old when her mother dies. Leaving London for New York Harbor during the bitter winter of 1932, the anxious and uncertain young girl relies on the kindness of strangers for refuge. Welcomed into the home of her Polish mother’s closest childhood friend, Katie is embraced by her new family in a country warm with hope and opportunity. There, on Hester Street in the Jewish ghetto of the city’s Lower East Side, Katie finally establishes the roots that will come to define her.
 
In New York, Katie also finds her future in three people who will change her life in ways she never anticipated: David, the man she marries, a ruthless achiever willing to abandon his heritage to secure power and prosperity under a new name; Mark, their resolute and devout son, and the embodiment of everything his father hates and rejects; and Maggie, a San Francisco beauty who helps to mold David into the man he’s always wanted to be, whatever the cost. As dreams and desires collide, and as Katie strives to reclaim her own lost identity, a series of events will forever affect the ambitions, promises, and legacies of an American family.
 
From the prewar ghettos of Manhattan to the glittering hills of postwar San Francisco, author Cynthia Freeman follows the destinies of three generations of a resilient family, their intimate struggles, and personal triumphs, and brings to vivid life the soul and spirit of the extraordinary Jewish immigrant experience in America.
 
A teenage girl goes to work for a chaotic family of Jewish immigrants, in a New York Times bestseller that’s “a cause for celebration” (Ann Patchett).
 
In the 1930s, New York is swarming with Europe’s ousted dreamers, alien families adapting to a new world. Rose Meadows unknowingly enters the lives of one such family when she answers an ad for an “assistant” to a Herr Mitwisser, the patriarch of a large household living in an obscure little neighborhood, in a remote corner of the sparse and weedy northeast Bronx. With an uncertain future, and no clear idea of her duties, Rose—orphaned at eighteen and recently turned out by lover—has become a refugee among refugees.
 
Expelled from Berlin’s elite, Professor Mitwisser—a researcher obsessed with an arcane religious doctrine—lives with his wife, a prominent physicist now quietly going mad, and Anneliese, their willful sixteen-year-old daughter. When Anneliese’s fierce longing draws a new outcast into the fold—a vagrant actor running from fame—it’s up to Rose to quell the emotional, sexual, spiritual, and societal tempests brewing within the Mitwissers unsettled home.
 
Hailed by the New York Times as “the most accomplished and graceful literary stylist of our time,” Cynthia Ozick is a recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Nabokov Award and PEN/Malamud Award, and Heir to the Glimmering World is yet another triumph from the author of the National Book Award finalist The Puttermesser Papers and Foreign Bodies.
 
“A heroine to love, a story we can’t let go of, gorgeous sentences, and ideas to wrestle with. I didn’t just read the book, I devoured.” —Ann Patchett
Look out for Pam’s new book, The Lost Girls of Paris, a story of friendship and courage centered around three women and a ring of female spies during World War II.

A New York Times bestseller!

“Readers who enjoyed Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale and Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants will embrace this novel. “ —Library Journal

“Secrets, lies, treachery, and passion…. I read this novel in a headlong rush.” —Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train

A powerful novel of friendship set in a traveling circus during World War II, The Orphan’s Tale introduces two extraordinary women and their harrowing stories of sacrifice and survival

Sixteen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier and being forced to give up her baby. She lives above a small rail station, which she cleans in order to earn her keep… When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the child that was taken from her. And in a moment that will change the course of her life, she snatches one of the babies and flees into the snowy night.

Noa finds refuge with a German circus, but she must learn the flying trapeze act so she can blend in undetected, spurning the resentment of the lead aerialist, Astrid. At first rivals, Noa and Astrid soon forge a powerful bond. But as the facade that protects them proves increasingly tenuous, Noa and Astrid must decide whether their friendship is enough to save one another—or if the secrets that burn between them will destroy everything.
“Rich both in twists and period detail, this tale of big-city ambition is impossible to put down.”—People
 
Fiona Davis's stunning debut novel pulls readers into the lush world of New York City's glamorous Barbizon Hotel for Women, where in the 1950s a generation of aspiring models, secretaries, and editors lived side by side while attempting to claw their way to fairy-tale success, and where a present-day journalist becomes consumed with uncovering a dark secret buried deep within the Barbizon's glitzy past.
 
When she arrives at the famed Barbizon Hotel in 1952, secretarial school enrollment in hand, Darby McLaughlin is everything her modeling agency hall mates aren't: plain, self-conscious, homesick, and utterly convinced she doesn't belong—a notion the models do nothing to disabuse. Yet when Darby befriends Esme, a Barbizon maid, she's introduced to an entirely new side of New York City: seedy downtown jazz clubs where the music is as addictive as the heroin that's used there, the startling sounds of bebop, and even the possibility of romance.
 
Over half a century later, the Barbizon's gone condo and most of its long-ago guests are forgotten. But rumors of Darby's involvement in a deadly skirmish with a hotel maid back in 1952 haunt the halls of the building as surely as the melancholy music that floats from the elderly woman's rent-controlled apartment. It's a combination too intoxicating for journalist Rose Lewin, Darby's upstairs neighbor, to resist—not to mention the perfect distraction from her own imploding personal life. Yet as Rose's obsession deepens, the ethics of her investigation become increasingly murky, and neither woman will remain unchanged when the shocking truth is finally revealed.
An Amazon Best Book of the Year A multigenerational family saga about the long-lasting reverberations of one tragic summer by "a wonderful talent [who] should be read widely" (Edward P. Jones).

In 1948, a small stretch of the Woodmont, Connecticut shoreline, affectionately named "Bagel Beach," has long been a summer destination for Jewish families. Here sisters Ada, Vivie, and Bec assemble at their beloved family cottage, with children in tow and weekend-only husbands who arrive each Friday in time for the Sabbath meal.

During the weekdays, freedom reigns. Ada, the family beauty, relaxes and grows more playful, unimpeded by her rule-driven, religious husband. Vivie, once terribly wronged by her sister, is now the family diplomat and an increasingly inventive chef. Unmarried Bec finds herself forced to choose between the family-centric life she's always known and a passion-filled life with the married man with whom she's had a secret years-long affair.

But when a terrible accident occurs on the sisters' watch, a summer of hope and self-discovery transforms into a lifetime of atonement and loss for members of this close-knit clan. Seen through the eyes of Molly, who was twelve years old when she witnessed the accident, this is the story of a tragedy and its aftermath, of expanding lives painfully collapsed. Can Molly, decades after the event, draw from her aunt Bec's hard-won wisdom and free herself from the burden that destroyed so many others?

Elizabeth Poliner is a masterful storyteller, a brilliant observer of human nature, and in As Close to Us as Breathing she has created an unforgettable meditation on grief, guilt, and the boundaries of identity and love.
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