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The Resource Strangers and cousins, Leah Hager Cohen

Strangers and cousins, Leah Hager Cohen

Label
Strangers and cousins
Title
Strangers and cousins
Statement of responsibility
Leah Hager Cohen
Title variation
Strangers & cousins
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
In the seemingly idyllic town of Rundle Junction, Benita and Walter are preparing to host the wedding their elder daughter, Clem. A marriage ceremony at their beloved, rambling home should be the happiest of occasions, but Walter and Bennie have a secret. A new community is moving to Rundle Junction, threatening the social order and forcing Bennie and Walter to confront uncomfortable truths about their small town. Meanwhile, Aunt Glad, the oldest member of the family, arrives for the wedding, troubled by long-buried memories of a scarring event that occurred when she was a girl in Rundle Junction. As she pieces together details about this event, the family begins to realize that Clem's wedding may not be exactly what they imagined. Clever, passionate, artistic Clem has her own agenda. What she doesn't know is that by the end, everyone will have roles to play in this richly imagined ceremony of familial connection - a brood of quirky relatives, effervescent college friends, ghosts emerging from the past, a determined little mouse, and even the very group of new neighbors whose arrival has shaken Rundle Junction
Member of
Storyline
Writing style
Character
Review
  • The Blumenthals are hosting a wedding in a few short days at their old family home in upstate New York. The bride-to-be is camping out in the yard, more relatives are arriving by the day, and Great-Aunt Glad is wandering mentally between past and present. To top it off, Walter and Bennie Blumenthal are harboring two secrets from the rest of the family. And the simmering protest among long-standing town residents to the increasing presence of an Orthodox Jewish community threatens to divide the Blumenthals into opposing factions. Cohen perfectly captures the chaos of a big family event, with all the personalities and baggage that come with the territory, adeptly mixing humor and sentiment to create an intoxicatingly rich story that bursts off the page with life. With disaster all but assured for the impending nuptials and the stage set for a deadly tragedy in the town’s history to repeat itself, the Blumenthals and their guests must rely on their wits, their love for each other, and a bit of luck to make it through. Fine summer reading. -- Bridget Thoreson (Reviewed 5/16/2019) (Booklist, vol 115, number 18)
  • /* Starred Review */ Cohen’s captivating, lyrical latest (after The Grief of Others
			) takes on the wedding novel and deepens it with weighty themes of death, trauma, and social unrest. While the story ostensibly confines itself to the four days preceding and the day of the wedding of flighty Clem to her more grounded college girlfriend Diggs at Clem’s childhood home in the Hudson Valley, it flashes back in time to the childhood of Clem’s great-aunt Glad, who was hurt physically and emotionally in a devastating fire in 1927. Cohen darts through the minds of dozens of wedding guests and family members, most of whom are concerned not just with the upcoming nuptials, for which no one is adequately prepared, but also with the recent influx of ultra-Orthodox Jews into the small town, where it is feared they will lower property values, gut the public education system, and make war with more liberal Jews, such as Clem’s father. By book’s end—after the theft of a wedding ring, a destructive storm, and another fire—the characters have rethought their notions of family and community. Even the most practical characters are frequently overwhelmed by spells of wild imagination and unreliable memories, adding a touch of magic. This enticing novel shimmers among its many well-defined points of view, exploring the psychic depths of a seemingly ordinary event. (May)
			 --Staff (Reviewed 06/10/2019) (Publishers Weekly, vol 266, issue 23, p)
  • A ramshackle manse in upstate New York will go up for sale as soon as its owners finish putting on their daughter's wedding. The fictional town of Rundle Junction has had bad luck with pageants—in 1927, a five-day drama of "Past, Present, and Future Performed Daily by its Residents" ended in a tragedy that recalls the real Hartford, Connecticut, circus fire some years later. Though there is a monument in town, the event is largely forgotten eight decades later except in wisps of memory drifting through the mind of ancient Aunt Glad, who used to have a sister named Joy and now has a great-grandniece called Mantha, who has named her dolls Fear and Sadness. Mantha's sister, "Clementine Esther Erlend Blumenthal, firstborn child of Walter and Benita Blumenthal, soon to become Mrs. KC Diggins...her college girlfriend's wife," is on her way home with her college friends Chana and Hannah (called "the Ch/Hannahs") to put on an alternative wedding ceremony—a pageant, it seems—that her mother, Bennie, is skeptical about. Bennie has plenty on her mind besides the wedding, as she and husband Walter (called "Stalwart") are not on the same page about the ultra-Orthodox Jews who have been moving into their area, their arrival having had a dire effect on property values, public schools, etc., in other commuter towns. Notwithstanding, as soon as this wedding is over, they plan to sell and flee. Cohen (No Book but the World, 2014, etc.) delights in her quirky characters, her melodious sentences, her exuberant narrative flourishes, and her peeks into the distant future. "Tonight, while just a few feet below them Walter and Pim pee side by side into the toilet, while more than two hundred thousand miles away the moon rolls across the sky like a lost pill, the baby mice are growing. Veering toward their respective fates." She rolls out her winsome, multicultural, elaborately orchestrated plot like a magic carpet. Some readers will jump on. Others may feel their inner sourpuss stirring to life. One person's droll yet profound dramedy is another person's too-sweet cup of tea. (Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2019)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10775891
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Cohen, Leah Hager
Dewey number
813/.6
Index
no index present
LC call number
PS3553.O42445
LC item number
S77 2019
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Families
  • Family secrets
  • Weddings
Target audience
adult
Label
Strangers and cousins, Leah Hager Cohen
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
308 pages
Isbn
9781594634833
Lccn
2018015113
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • on1031040051
  • (OCoLC)1031040051
Label
Strangers and cousins, Leah Hager Cohen
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
308 pages
Isbn
9781594634833
Lccn
2018015113
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • on1031040051
  • (OCoLC)1031040051

Library Locations

    • James City County LibraryBorrow it
      7770 Croaker Road, Williamsburg, VA, 23188, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
    • Williamsburg LibraryBorrow it
      515 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, VA, 23185, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
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