This first novel traces the story of a Jewish family that emigrated to Jerusalem in the late nineteenth century through several generations to the present day. Thebook is more a series of stories about one generation after anotherthan a single narrative: stories of Miriam and Zohar's child, born with terrible deformities; Avra and Shimon, she a kleptomaniac, he a moralist; and many other figures in the family.

Much of the writing is cliche and overwrought. Within a few pages of the first chapter, we are already in the middle of a soft-core porn scene, in which a husband overhears his wife having sex with the baker, and then proceeds to fantasize about the "vicarious, criminal, devastating and yet thrillful" episode. This sets the tone for a good part of the book. When the heaving and passion are kept to a minimum, the story of Jewish emigres to the promised land is interesting, but those passages are two few and far between.

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