Nancy Reisman's success is measured by how much she makes us care about these people. Her prose is evocative, the chapters alternating among the various points of view to yield glimpses into the characters' inner lives. Here is a moment near the end of the book where Sadie, the most "ordinary" of the siblings, recognizes the fragility of her world:
Sometimes a free afternoon downtown Main Street flooded with speeding coats and hats, and the rush of voices, and the brick buildings gilded and slightly pink, the clouds orange and violet before dusk seems wholly enough. It is a good life, she's sure, though she doesn't know why it seems so tentative and airy, or why the past seems to spring up at her as if in defiance, or how to name what she feels....
As the novel moves to its conclusion, as Goldie's disappearance is resolved and understood by the people who have loved her, I think most readers will find themselves, as I did, completely caught up in the small world of the Cohen family, completely convinced by the rightness of this novelist's vision.
You might also like: