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The Weight Of Ink (2017, original release: 2017)
(Book)

Call Number MARKETPLACE/FICTION/KADISH,R


Available
(8 holds on 8 copies)
LocationCall NumberItem Status
MarketplaceMARKETPLACE/FICTION/KADISH,RAvailable
MarketplaceMARKETPLACE/FICTION/KADISH,RAvailable
MarketplaceMARKETPLACE/FICTION/KADISH,RDue 12-06-17
MarketplaceMARKETPLACE/FICTION/KADISH,RDue 12-09-17
MarketplaceMARKETPLACE/FICTION/KADISH,RAvailable
MarketplaceMARKETPLACE/FICTION/KADISH,RDue 12-14-17
MarketplaceMARKETPLACE/FICTION/KADISH,RAvailable (not holdable)
MarketplaceStaff PicksAvailable
Published: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017 ©2017
Description:  567 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN/ISSN: 9780544866461, 0544866460,
Language:  English


"An intellectual and emotional jigsaw puzzle of a novel for readers of A.S. Byatt's Possession and Geraldine Brooks's People of the Book Set in London of the 1660s and of the early twenty-first century, The Weight of Ink is the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect: Ester Velasquez, anemigrant from Amsterdam who is permitted to scribe for a blind rabbi, just before the plague hits the city; and Helen Watt, an ailing historian with a love of Jewish history. As the novel opens, Helen has been summoned by a former student to view a cache of seventeenth-century Jewish documents newly discovered in his home during a renovation. Enlisting the help of Aaron Levy, an American graduate student as impatient as he is charming, and in a race with another fast-moving team of historians, Helen embarks on one last project: to determine the identity of the documents' scribe, the elusive"Aleph."Electrifying and ambitious, sweeping in scope and intimate in tone, The Weight of Ink is a sophisticated work of historical fiction about women separated by centuries, and the choices and sacrifices they must makein order to reconcile the life of the heart and mind"--

Related Searches:
Women historians -- Fiction.
Jewish women -- Fiction.
Jewish fiction.
Historical fiction.
Fiction.
Added--201706 afic

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The Weight of Ink

Helen Watt is a professor at a prestigious London university. A former student reaches out to Helen for her expertise after a trove of papers has been uncovered during his historic home’s renovation. As soon as Helen sees this repository in person, she realizes its potential value. She allows herself to hold one of the pages dated autumn 1657 in her trembling hands recognizing it written in the early days of the readmission of Jewish people to England. Once her university obtains the entire collection she begins the translation work paired with a brilliant but brash young American post-graduate student, Aaron Levy.

As Helen and Aaron’s work on the translations, they discover that the scribe is a woman. This is unheard of in the 17th century when education is limited and women’s lives dictated by social standing. They call her Aleph until they find out her real name. Unfolding in a dual time-line format, we come to see how the scribe comes to live in England after Rabbi HaCoen Mendes rescues her and her brother orphaned in Portugal, how her life plays out and how she struggles against society’s expectations of her. She encounters threats against the freedom she has, loss, poverty, the Great Plague, the Great London Fire. In the meantime, Helen and Aaron continue their race to decipher the papers while another team of researchers competes with them to see who will publish their findings first.

Author Rachel Kadish has succeeded in creating an engrossing story that is carefully constructed, complex with many layers both in the historical timeline and in the modern one. Elements of history amid personal plight. The right amount of information is revealed at a time to entice the reader to find out more. This is a richly worded and detailed novel. Do not be dissuaded by the length of its pages; I hardly noticed it.

One of my favorite quotes from the book and for which, I imagine, the title of the book is derived is on page 196 “. . . for my hands would never again turn the page of a book, nor be stained with the sweet, grave weight of Ink, a thing I had loved since first memory”.
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