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Up from Orchard Street | [Eleanor Widmer]

Up from Orchard Street

Three generations of Roths live together in a crowded tenement flat. Long-widowed Manya is the family's head and its heart. But Manya is no soft touch, except, perhaps, where her granddaughter Elka is concerned. Precocious Elka is her closest companion and confidante. Through Elka's eyes we come to know the fascinating characters who move in and out of the Roths' lives.
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Publisher's Summary

Three generations of Roths live together in a crowded tenement flat. Long-widowed Manya is the family's head and its heart. She's renowned throughout the neighborhood for her cooking, and every noontime the front room of the flat turns into Manya's private restaurant. But Manya is no soft touch, except, perhaps, where her granddaughter Elka is concerned. Precocious Elka is her closest companion and confidante. Through Elka's eyes we come to know the fascinating characters who move in and out of the Roths' lives. Money may have been short, but opinions were not, and their tart tongues and lively humor abound. In this riveting story lies the heart of the American immigrant experience: a novel at once wise, funny, poignant, anguishing, exultant, and bursting with love.

©2005 Eleanor Widmer; (P)2005 Blackstone Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

  • 2005 Audie Award Nominee, Solo Narration (Female)

"Poignant snapshot of a long-lost era and place....[This] first novel offers pungent, nostalgic vignettes of Jewish life on Manhattan's Lower East Side." (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Barbara F. Evans 03-23-08 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    16
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    Overall
    "great read"

    I'm neither Jewish, nor Russian, nor a New Yorker...but I felt I had entered a profoundly interesting, and moving family history. The narrator of this was incredible and brought each character to life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie A. Levin Pleasant Hill, California 02-25-08
    Julie A. Levin Pleasant Hill, California 02-25-08 Member Since 2005

    Marriage and Family Therapist

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    134
    7
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    0
    4
    Overall
    "Loved it!"

    Wonderful characters, vivid descriptions allow the listener to experience the character's lives. One of my favorites.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Victoria Wright The Berkshires, MA 07-03-07
    Victoria Wright The Berkshires, MA 07-03-07 Member Since 2007

    BookmarkServices.net

    HELPFUL VOTES
    88
    ratings
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    177
    34
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    3
    0
    Overall
    "Oy, vey"

    Unmitigated dreck. Zero character development, sugarcoated poverty, relentless cliches. Memoirs may tend to be short on plot, but in exchange, some realism should be provided, maybe a little historical context...

    The reader, whose rendition of Dorothy Parker is terrific, could have used a bit of coaching in Yiddish (and advice on how to pronounce "ecstatic").

    1 of 8 people found this review helpful
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