Feb 252009
 
Authors: kelly bleck

Author Nomi Eve weaves a family history that includes murder, incest, death and happiness.

Narrating the relationships that led to her existence, a girl incorporates her father’s memories into a detailed story. She seems to create most of the events, based off of myth and family history that was researched, but paired with her father’s narrative it seems far fetched and invented.

Eve creates a magnificent story starting in Palestine with Esther. Esther is portrayed as a bright, outgoing young woman, and the narrator focuses on her affair with a local baker. As Esther’s personality is explored and certain traits are passed on to her children, the family history grows into one of mischief and happiness.

Each character’s relationship is expanded and is an intricate addition to “The Family Orchard,” spanning centuries. Each family member seems to be connected in some way to the earth, and an orchard, creating an aura of different realms and magic.

Relationships are generated in odd, often uncomfortable situations. Eliezer’s father re-marries to a woman with a daughter Eliezer’s age, Golda. Eliezer and Golda fall in love, creating a family drama that almost tears them apart.

They marry despite their parents’ uncertainty and the story continues to split into different branches of history and drama.

Eve’s rendition of each person is intricate and extremely well developed. The story flows and intimately follows each character’s thoughts and experiences.

As she explains the family’s history, Eve focuses on the unexpected events that happen in their lives.

Eve places Avra into a situation that matches her personality. Avra is a thief and Eve creates the situation where Avra meets her husband at the scene of a crime.

This thievery continues throughout the family history as the last generation of children steals from the neighborhood’s orchard. The tradition of stealing emphasizes the unexpectedness of the family and their indifference to normal society rules.

Another element that affects their history is their religion. The family is faced with the historical incidents that target the Jewish community.

They are shaped by their refusal to give up their religion, and the ways they learn to hide and retaliate. One woman, Miriam, and her family were part of the Haganah, the secret Jewish defense force.

The author inserts historical references with the British invasion of areas of Israel. The Haganah and a branch of the family aid the fighting that ensues, creating a strand of tough and insistent relatives.

An intense story of an intricate family history, Eve portrays each character and future generations as a personality that is woven and changed with each turn of events.

Staff writer Kelly Bleck can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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