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The Weight of Ink by  Rachel Kadish - Paperback - 2018-05-01 - from First Coast Books LLC (SKU: 100421021)

The Weight of Ink

The Weight of Ink by  Rachel Kadish - Paperback - 2018-05-01 - from First Coast Books LLC (SKU: 100421021)
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The Weight of Ink

by Kadish, Rachel

  • New
  • paperback
Condition
New
ISBN 10
1328915786
ISBN 13
9781328915788
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About This Item

Mariner Books, 2018-05-01. Paperback. New. New. Satisfaction guaranteed!

Reviews

On Jun 21 2018, a reader said:
"Nothing of the building's exterior – not even the stone walls, with their once-giant wingspan – had prepared him for this. The staircase was opulence written in wood. The broad treads ascended between dark carved panels featuring roses and vines and abundant fruit baskets; gazing down from high walls, their faces full of sad, sweet equanimity, were more carved angels. And halfway up the stairs, two arched windows let in a white light so blinding and tremulous, Aaron could swear it had weight. Windows to bow down before, their wrought-iron levers and mullions casting a mesmerizing grid across the carved wood: light and shadow and light again."

The Weight of Ink is the third novel by American author, Rachel Kadish. In 1657, nineteen-year-old Ester Velasquez and her brother Isaac accompanied Rabbi HaCoen Mendes from Amsterdam to London. The rabbi, tortured and blinded by Inquisitors, was going to minister to London's Jewish community; the siblings had just been orphaned in a house fire.

Late in the year 2000, history professor Helen Watt is asked to examine a cache of books and papers discovered under a staircase in a 17th Century London mansion. Written in Hebrew and Portuguese, the papers appear to date from the mid-seventeenth century, and concern Jewish refugees from the Inquisition. This is potentially an important find, and Helen engages a young American post-graduate student, Aaron Levy to assist her. Unfortunately, they don't have exclusive access, and find themselves in a bit of a race to uncover the secrets held within.

As they examine the trove of papers, Helen and Aaron are surprised and excited to find that the scribe for the blind rabbi might have been a woman. Then, in between the lines of letters about false messiahs written in Portuguese, they discover the story, in Hebrew, of Ester Velazquez, a young Jewess educated by HaCoen Mendes (not quite accidentally, because the rabbi sees much despite his blindness), a young woman with an almost unquenchable thirst for philosophical knowledge and for discourse thereon. It's a thirst so deep that she engages in subterfuge to attempt to satisfy it.

What a superb piece of historical fiction this is. Kadish carefully constructs her tale so that the reader shares the excitement of the small but significant discoveries, of facts slowly revealed, all the while bringing to life the daily routine of London's seventeenth century Jewish community. The astute reader will, early on, catch the hint of "a gossamer-thin connection" that develops into quite a lovely irony by the end of the story.

Her characters, not necessarily likeable at first, slowly gain in appeal: Helen's gruff exterior (a colleague describes her thus: "Behind the words she could read his regret that the one to make such a find had been Helen Watt – a dried-up scholar, inconveniently unphotogenic, on the cusp of a mandatory retirement no one but her would rue") mellows somewhat; Aaron will initially strike the reader as arrogant and self-absorbed but his time with Helen definitely matures him: "How had he ever overlooked shy girls? It struck him that the fact that he wasn't attracted to them might represent a flaw in his character, not theirs."

Kadish gives the reader some exquisite descriptive prose: "She looked at him with the directness of someone making an inner calculus over which he was to have no influence" and "Today, when he'd peered under the staircase, it was as though what he'd starved for all these lifeless months of dissertation research had been restored to him. History, reaching out and caressing his face once more, the way it had years ago as he sat reading at his parents' kitchen table. The gentle insistent touch of something like a conscience, stilling him. Waking him to a lucid new purpose" are examples. Stirring and captivating, this is not a short read, but is worth every minute invested.

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Details

Bookseller
First Coast Books LLC US (US)
Bookseller's Inventory #
100421021
Title
The Weight of Ink
Author
Kadish, Rachel
Format/binding
Paperback
Book condition
New New
Quantity-available
1
Binding
Paperback
ISBN 10
1328915786
ISBN 13
9781328915788
Publisher
Mariner Books
Date Published
2018-05-01

Terms of Sale

First Coast Books LLC

We Accept: PayPal/Cashiers Check/Money Order/Personal Check /Visa /Master Card (in We Accept: PayPal/Cashiers Check/Money Order/Personal Check /Visa /Master Card (in US funds ALL INTERNATIONAL ORDERS MUST BE CRDIT CARD OR INTERNATIONAL MONEY ORDER). All books will be shipped with delivery confirmation information. We will be happy to accept any returns within 10 days of receipt.If the item was not as described a full refund, including shipping, will be issued. Items returned of any other reason will be refunded the item purchase price only. Orders ship within 1 business day. Shipping costs are based on books weighing 2.2 LB, or 1 KG. If your book order is heavy or oversized, we may contact you to let you know extra shipping is required.

About the Seller

First Coast Books LLC

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Biblio.com member since 2005
Eatonton, Georgia
Ask Seller a Question

About First Coast Books LLC

We Accept: PayPal/Cashiers Check/Money Order/Personal Check /Visa /Master Card (in We Accept: PayPal/Cashiers Check/Money Order/Personal Check /Visa /Master Card (in US funds ALL INTERNATIONAL ORDERS MUST BE CRDIT CARD OR INTERNATIONAL MONEY ORDER). All books will be shipped with delivery confirmation information. We will be happy to accept any returns within 10 days of receipt.If the item was not as described a full refund, including shipping, will be issued. Items returned of any other reason will be refunded the item purchase price only. Orders ship within 1 business day. Shipping costs are based on books weighing 2.2 LB, or 1 KG. If your book order is heavy or oversized, we may contact you to let you know extra shipping is required.

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