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Away | [Amy Bloom]

Away

On a morning in 1924, a young woman rises from the floor of her family's small home in Belorussia to find her parents and her husband slaughtered beside her and her infant daughter, Sophie, missing. When her aunt tells her the baby is dead, Lillian emigrates to America. She is working as a seamstress at the Yiddish Theater and enjoying cafe society when a cousin arrives and insists that her daughter is still alive, in Siberia.
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Publisher's Summary

This epic, intimate novel follows a young Russian immigrant determined to make her way - and find her daughter - in the hip, harsh 1920s.

On a morning in 1924, a young woman rises from the floor of her family's small home in Belorussia to find her parents and her husband slaughtered beside her and her infant daughter, Sophie, missing. When her aunt tells her the baby is dead, Lillian emigrates to America. She is working as a seamstress at the Yiddish Theater and enjoying cafe society when a cousin arrives and insists that her daughter is still alive, in Siberia.

Lillian cannot stop dreaming of Sophie; she feels she must get to Russia, yet she can't afford the passage. Her only friend, an actor turned tailor, steals atlases from the New York Public Library and sews them into an overcoat for her. She crosses North America by rail, truck, and foot, encountering drifters, wardens, pimps, missionaries, and tattoo artists. From Dawson City, Alaska, she sets sail for Russia. She falls in love, falls in with the wrong people, leaps before she looks, hopes hard, and refuses to give up.

Inspired by a true story, Away is Moll Flanders in America and Odysseus in the Jazz Age: big, wide, brilliantly imagined, unexpectedly funny, and unforgettable.

©2007 Amy Bloom. Recorded by arrangement with Random House, an imprint of Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc; (P)2007 HighBridge Company

What the Critics Say

"Any new book by Amy Bloom is a cause for celebration." (The Times of London)
"Rosenblat is an incomparable character guide, dancing from accent to accent, never letting up." (Philadelphia Inquirer)
"Amy Bloom gets more meaning into individual sentences than most authors manage in whole books." (The New Yorker)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.3 (155 )
5 star
 (21)
4 star
 (52)
3 star
 (48)
2 star
 (21)
1 star
 (13)
Overall
3.5 (29 )
5 star
 (8)
4 star
 (8)
3 star
 (7)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (3)
Story
3.6 (29 )
5 star
 (9)
4 star
 (6)
3 star
 (8)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
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  •  
    Phyllis Plymouth, MA, United States 10-22-07
    Phyllis Plymouth, MA, United States 10-22-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    40
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    115
    11
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    FOLLOWING
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    Overall
    "the perils? of Lillian"

    I began this story with great expectations based on many reviews I read. Sadly, it did not live up to these reviews. The story was chaotic, with flashbacks and fast forwards. The super-hero adventures of Lillian were unbelievable. To travel from NY to Alaska alone, trading sex for passage because she has no money, finding a boat in Alaska, she pilots herself across icy seas, again alone. And after all the perils of Lillian, and there are many more, comes the disappointing end. Some sections were interesting, but all-in-all the story was unbelievable and doesn't deserve the praise it got.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Carlson columbus ohio 04-26-08
    C. Carlson columbus ohio 04-26-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    59
    ratings
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    406
    10
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    Overall
    "Amazing reader!"

    For a book with the sweep of character and place of "Away," I can not imagine a better reader--she added brilliant color to the experience of this already vivid book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mariah Oakton, VA, United States 09-05-07
    Mariah Oakton, VA, United States 09-05-07 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    55
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Nothing Great"

    This picaresque novel centers around the heroine's search for a baby left behind when her mother emigrates to America following a gentile attack on her Jewish family in Russia in the early 1920s. After making a cozy life for herself in America as the mistress of a gay actor and the actor's father, our heroine, Lillian, hears from a relative that the baby she left behind is still alive. Even though the relative may be lying just to get a piece of Lillian's cozy life in the Jewish center of New York, without hesitation, Lillian sets off to look for her baby--in Siberia. Her adventures make up of most of the story, which is strictly linear but features some well-described situations Lillian encounters in the search for her daughter. This is a decent, but not spectacular, read, as the heroine's actions--which consist of doing anything it takes to get to her child--are predicable. The look at life as a Jew in the early 20th century in New York is colorful and interesting as is the descriptions of her deadly stopover in Seattle and relelentess journey through Alaska.

    18 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patti Chittenango, NY, United States 05-16-10
    Patti Chittenango, NY, United States 05-16-10 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    543
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    490
    273
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    54
    1
    Overall
    "Don't Bother"

    I did not like this book at all. I was not sympathetic to this woman who seems like a silly goose. Maybe it is the author I should be more critical of, because it seemed like she threw in a sexual situation to solve most problems.

    The story is not believeable not were the characters likeable.

    Don't bother buying or listening to ths one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Duffy Fort Valley, VA, USA 09-17-08
    Duffy Fort Valley, VA, USA 09-17-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    11
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    Overall
    "easy listening"

    very surprising twists & turns but I felt transported to the early 1900's. Easy to follow the story as well as interesting to listen to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Bountiful, UT, United States 03-22-08
    Julie Bountiful, UT, United States 03-22-08 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
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    30
    10
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    "Disapointed"

    I really tried to like this book. I have enjoyed every book I have heard by this narrator. I kept waiting for something interesting to happen, but it never did. For me, this was a total waste of time.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shaddi Laguna Niguel, CA, United States 02-18-08
    Shaddi Laguna Niguel, CA, United States 02-18-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    135
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    425
    23
    FOLLOWERS
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    5
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    Overall
    "disappointing..."

    I never thought that I would see the day when a book narrated by Barbara Rosenblat would be boring. She is one of my favorite narrators and she was not the problem in this book. I listen to many audiobooks and have come to find a distinction between books that must be read to oneself and books that become really good audiobooks. This book may be better on paper. I don't think that it lends itself well to an audiobook format. I barely made it through.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Antoinette Brush USA 01-09-11
    Antoinette Brush USA 01-09-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    4
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    0
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    "Expertly Read!"

    The story = so-so. The Narrator = Excellent. I'd buy it again just to listen to Barbara Rosenblat

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ellen abingdon, VA, United States 11-08-10
    ellen abingdon, VA, United States 11-08-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    72
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    3
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    Overall
    "Away"

    great book and great narrator who did accents well, will try for others by this author

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joanna Maplewood, MN, United States 03-02-08
    Joanna Maplewood, MN, United States 03-02-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    93
    19
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    1
    0
    Overall
    "Awful"

    This has to be the worst book I've ever read. I can't even begin to describe how bad it was, because I put it out of my mind at the end. Don't waste your credit.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
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