One More River

One More River

by Mary Glickman

Debbie Weiss (06/26/14): In reading the reviews of this book by Judy and Gail, I feel disappointed in myself that I just thought the book was ok, a 3 rating in my mind. While the story line was interesting, I was never engaged with the characters or the action. I am not sure if this was due to the style of the author's writing or just that the subject matter seemed a bit contrived. The book was a book club book and some of the members of the club agreed with Judy and Gail, but others did agree with me. I guess this is just one of those books, either you love it or you don't!
Rating: ***

Gail Reid (06/26/14): When Mickey Moe Levy and Laura Anne Needleman socialize in the early 1960's South, we are introduced to how courtship works among the small but well established Jewish communities in Mississippi and Tennessee. But just like all ethnic and religious groups, pedigree is very important. While Mickey Moe has long established roots on his mother's side, his father was a man of mystery whose background is suspicious. Bernard Levy was a wealthy stranger when he married Mickey Moe's mother, but after dying in WW II, his fortune disappears and his parentage turns out to be fictitious.

This is not good enough for Laura Anne's parents and the young couple set out on an adventure to set things straight so they can marry. An African-American brother and sister are strangely knowledgeable about Bernard but the man, Bald Horace, is elderly and ill and the woman Aurora Mae must be found. More puzzles to solve!

I thought this was a unique and quirky read. While the story moves quickly, the writing is oddly stylized and may be off-putting for some. I learned about the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, Jewish and African-American relationships, and hardship and triumphs of the times. The title refers to the song "One More River to Cross" - a recurrent theme in the book. 4+
Rating: ****+

Judy Stanton (06/21/14): Reading a book about the Southern Jewish experience is a rare experience in itself, let alone one from the early 1900s. I thought One More River was well written, smoothly taking the reader back in time, intermixing the lives of Bernard Levy, and his son, Mickey Moe, who goes in search of his roots. I found it interesting to learn about how Jews got to meet each other in small towns in the South and how important family standings were to making a match. While a little farfetched, I also enjoyed the antics of Bernard Levy and his relationship with the love of his life, Aurora Mae, and her brother Bald Horace. HIs interactions in the African American community at a time when slavery was the norm made for good storytelling. A good read. 4-
Rating: ****-

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