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Hardcover The Soup Has Many Eyes: From Shtetl to Chicago--A Memoir of One Family's Journey Through History Book

ISBN: 0553801597

ISBN13: 9780553801590

The Soup Has Many Eyes: From Shtetl to Chicago--A Memoir of One Family's Journey Through History

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Like New

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Book Overview

Our lives are made rich by those who came before us. Like ingredients in a long-simmering soup, they flavor who we are and what we do. In this beautiful, haunting, and larger-than-life memoir, one... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

The Soup Has Many Eyes

I listened to the unabridged version of the book, and found it to be an uplifting and inspiring story of courageous good people who faced terrible circumstances and triumphed, with love and family connections intact. I am a member of long standing in 2 book clubs and will surely recommend this book to all members, either as a club selection, or merely for personal enjoyment and enrichment. It was only after I finished listening to the book, that I read the editorial reviews, and was thrilled to see the Penn State connection. Yup - an old Nittany Lion herself reviews this book.As a grandchild of eastern European immigrants, this story is my people's story - and humbles me to realize the price that my grandparents paid. Though this is a Jewish story, it is just as applicable to the ethnic Catholics, be they Italians, Irish, Slovenians, Polish, or what have you. One big difference though, except for the Jewish children, education was not stressed until the second generation. I can't recommend this book enough - and this from someone who listens or reads probably 100+ books a year.Discover this jewel today and treat yourself to a few hours of pure enjoyment.

A quick book with substance

Refreshing in it's use of magical realism, this book is beautiful and moving. The ways in which the stories are linked each other and to the present is incredibly well crafted and creative. I've been giving this book as a gift for several months now, and have received incredibly positive feedback.

I can't say enough about this book

The story of a family, a heritage, my heritage, I was unable to put this book down once I opened it. She writes so well, she is so fluid and masterful with her words, the story had to be told. It is simply the story of how a family got here, and yet it speaks volumes about a time which is little known and hardly written about. I loved this book. I reccomend buying it. If you are a history professor use it as your text book. If you would be truly multi-cultural then learn this story. May it bring as much joy to you as it did to me.

?Soup? ? A Memoir of Life

This exquisite little book, The Soup Has Many Eyes, is a hybrid of history, mystery, proverb, and poetry. Most of all, it is a mother's memoir to her two sons, Josh and Jonny, as they embark upon their own journey in life - a journey that is both connected and disconnected with its heritage.Perhaps a little too disconnected, or so the author, Joann Leonard, believes. In her narrative, Leonard attempts to fill in the spaces for her sons, to connect them to their past so that their present will have context. While much of the book narrates her family's struggles as they leave Russia amid the pogroms of the early 20th century to come to America, the "history" of the book serves as a backdrop for Leonard's musings about life and legacy. What do traditions mean? What do their voices say today? Can they serve her sons too, the children of a Jewish mother and a father who is the son of a Lutheran pastor? Leonard wonders (or laments?), "Did I tell them, did I tell them? Little things, forgotten. Big things, omitted. Things that, because I didn't know how to tell you, my hands and eyes tried to word." In The Soup Has Many Eyes, Leonard tells them.And so much she tells them. Across time, Leonard spirits Gramma Chana back for an archetypical dialogue on her maternal doubts."`Gramma Chana, tell me,' I ask, `how do you know?'`Know what, child?'`What mothers are supposed to know?'`Know? Achhh! What is there to know? You hoe your gratchkeh, the bread you knead until it feels just so, when comes the baby, you push. For this you need to know? Your heart, do you tell it to beat? Your breath, do you say "now in, now out"? So what's all this "know"?' . . . `Look at the men with their watery eyes, Joann. They squint at their books for so many years, they squint out all the color from their eyes. They clutch their foreheads with their hands ready to snatch the live thing inside that gnaws to get out. But always, there are more questions.'`So what am I supposed to do, Gramma?'`Do? Make the soup. That's what you do.'"Ultimately, Joann's "answer" is that turgid alchemy of past and present that connects all the hope and fears of all generations going back to Eve."Josh and Jonny, do you ever remember us hugging you so hard and so long that you felt as if you couldn't breathe, as if it would never end? That's the hug of parents holding their child for all the parents in the world whose arms go empty. Parents whose children have been stolen from them by war, starvation, hatred, drugs, disease, despair. It is an embrace born out of guilt and gratitude that our child is here, though we are no more deserving. It is a fierce attempt to ring you with talisman and benediction."Leonard's letter to her children is timeless because its taproot reaches down into the mystery of our dreams and memories. We live, love, work, and die to pass down our wisdom to our progeny. And why? Who can know? But The Soup Has Many E
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