Cover image for Holy lands
Title:
Holy lands
ISBN:
9781635572834
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Bloomsbury Publishing, 2019.

©2019
Physical Description:
161 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
Translation of: Terres saintes.
Summary:
A witty, heartwarming, and heart-wrenching epistolary novel, soon to be a major motion picture starring James Caan, Rosanna Arquette, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, about a dysfunctional family--led by a Jewish pig farmer in Israel--struggling to love and accept each other. As comic as it is deeply moving, Holy Lands chronicles several months in the lives of an estranged family of colorful eccentrics. Harry Rosenmerck is an aging Jewish cardiologist who has left his thriving medical practice in New York--to raise pigs in Israel. His ex-wife, Monique, ruminates about their once happy marriage even as she quietly battles an aggressive illness. Their son, David, an earnest and successful playwright, has vowed to reconnect with his father since coming out. Annabelle, their daughter, finds herself unmoored in Paris in the aftermath of a breakup. Harry eschews technology, so his family, spread out around the world, must communicate with him via snail mail. Even as they grapple with challenges, their correspondence sparkles with levity. They snipe at each other, volleying quips across the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and Europe, and find joy in unexpected sources. Holy Lands captures the humor and poignancy of an adult family striving to remain connected across time, geography, and radically different perspectives on life.
Subject Term:
Language Note:
Translated from the French.
Holds:

Available:*

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Book Fiction Sther
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Book Fiction Sther
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Book Fiction Sther
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Summary

Summary

A witty, heartwarming, and heart-wrenching epistolary novel, soon to be a major motion picture starring James Caan, Rosanna Arquette, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, about a dysfunctional family--led by a Jewish pig farmer in Israel--struggling to love and accept each other.

As comic as it is deeply moving, Holy Lands chronicles several months in the lives of an estranged family of colorful eccentrics. Harry Rosenmerck is an aging Jewish cardiologist who has left his thriving medical practice in New York--to raise pigs in Israel. His ex-wife, Monique, ruminates about their once happy marriage even as she quietly battles an aggressive illness. Their son, David, an earnest and successful playwright, has vowed to reconnect with his father since coming out. Annabelle, their daughter, finds herself unmoored in Paris in the aftermath of a breakup.

Harry eschews technology, so his family, spread out around the world, must communicate with him via snail mail. Even as they grapple with challenges, their correspondence sparkles with levity. They snipe at each other, volleying quips across the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and Europe, and find joy in unexpected sources.

Holy Lands captures the humor and poignancy of an adult family striving to remain connected across time, geography, and radically different perspectives on life.


Author Notes

Amanda Sthers was born in Paris and lives in Los Angeles. She is the bestselling author of ten novels; this is her American debut. She is also a playwright, screenwriter, and director. Her debut English-language film, Madame , will be released in America in March 2018. In 2011, the French government named her a Chevalier (Knight) in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the highest honor it bestows on artists, for her significant and original contributions to the literary arts.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

French playwright and filmmaker Sthers swerves from harshly funny to surprisingly touching in her compact epistolary English-language debut. Harry Rosenmerck, a retired cardiologist, has moved to Nazareth and started a pig farm. Because Harry lacks even a telephone, his family resorts to communicating through letters. Harry begins an acrimonious written debate with Rabbi Moshe Cattan about raising unclean animals that eventually turns to friendship. Harry's ex-wife, Monique DuchAªne, who converted to Judaism for Harry, lives in New York and writes needling harangues with only hints about her declining health. Their son, David, is a successful playwright whose latest effort falls flat. He pleads for any word from Harry, having been disowned by his father since coming out, and trades jabs with his sister Annabelle. Annabelle, distraught after breaking up with a married professor, whines her way toward a visit with her father, making unplanned detours through Tel Aviv and other parts of Israel. Caustic and gentle jokes leaven the serious concerns about Israel's militarized security, Jewish identity, and the dysfunction of Harry's family. This moving novel manages a delicate balance between humor and tenderness among a family incapable of interacting without rancor. Agent: Todd Shuster, Aevitas. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Booklist Review

A Jewish pig farmer in Israel? This sacrilegious figure is the catalyst for best-selling French writer Sthers' comedic and sorrowful U.S. debut. Cheerfully irreverent bacon purveyor Harry Rosenmerck is an American cardiologist in flight from his past. Divorced from his French wife, Monique, who converted to Judaism to marry him; estranged from his successful playwright son, David, because David is gay; and careless of his multiple-degree-holding daughter, Annabelle, directionless in the wake of an affair with an older, married professor, Harry extends his obstinance to communication, refusing, in 2009, to have a phone or use email. Thus, the epistolary format of Sthers' quick-footed, perfectly choreographed, piercingly funny, and poignant novel. Letters fly fast and furiously to and from Harry, while the other three Rosenmercks urgently email each other. Memories, confessions, dreams, threats, and promises are issued and rebutted. The most amusing, lens-widening, and evolving exchange takes place between renegade Jew Harry and Rabbi Moshe Cattan. As each articulate, conflicted, and ardent character endures life-altering experiences, Sthers incisively and provocatively questions crucial matters of religion, morality, inheritance, compassion, and love.--Donna Seaman Copyright 2018 Booklist