A Multigenerational Family Saga Painted on the Broad Canvas of Nations at War and in Peace
“When I remember Russia, I ache with longing for the village of my birth, where the beloved grandparents magically produced candy in a handshake and told stories of long ago when God spoke to humans and enchantments filled the world.” So begins Amy Wachspress’s novel Memories from Cherry Harvest, spanning seventy years and three generations of women.
Two Jewish sisters, born in Russia at around the time of the Communist Revolution, flee the pogroms and persecution of their homeland and travel with their parents to settle in British-occupied Palestine. There they grow up in a blended family when their parents befriend a widower with two children and make a home together. Before long, the four young people are caught up in political events that tear the family apart, sending the sisters to far-off France and America. Just as they begin to settle into their new homes, they are swallowed up in the onslaught of World War II. Their lives on opposite sides of the ocean unfold in tandem. Babies are born, friendships forged, and cherry pies baked, despite the brutal backdrop of the Holocaust. Those left standing at war’s end must rise from the ashes and turn their attention to parenting their children.
In the next generation, one of the daughters pursues a career as an artist living a bohemian lifestyle surrounded by a multicultural, colorful circle of creative friends in 1960s New York. Her own daughter, raised in that imaginative and unconventional home, is the only grandchild of the original sisters. This granddaughter seizes her moment in history in the 1980s by providing aid to Salvadoran refugees fleeing Duarte’s death squads and torturers in their homeland in much the same way that her own grandmother once fled the pogroms of Russia. As she follows her vocation of reversing the damage torturers inflict on their victims, she must overcome a past-life trauma that haunts her dreams.
Memories from Cherry Harvest is a spiritual quest that explores the physics of memory and demonstrates how the tenacity of the human spirit can ultimately withstand and overcome the memory of tragedy.
Title: Memories from Cherry Harvest
Author: Amy Wachspress
Publisher: Counterpoint Press, Soft Skull Imprint
Trade Paperback; 6 x 9; 394 pages; $15.95
Distributed by Publishers Group West
Publication Date: June 19, 2012
Contact: Lorna Garano, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: (510) 759-6655
Visit the author’s website for more information: www.wozabooks.com