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The Resource The tin horse, a novel by Janice Steinberg

The tin horse, a novel by Janice Steinberg

Label
The tin horse
Title
The tin horse
Statement of responsibility
a novel by Janice Steinberg
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
A rich multigenerational story about the intense, often fraught bond sisters share and the dreams and sorrows that lay at the heart of the immigrant experience. It has been more than sixty years since Elaine Greenstein's twin sister, Barbara, ran away, cutting off contact with her family forever. While sifting through old papers as she prepares to move to Rancho Mañana, Elaine is stunned to find a possible hint to Barbara's whereabouts. It pushes her to confront the fierce love and bitter rivalry of their youth during the 1920s and '30s, in the Los Angeles Jewish neighborhood of Boyle Heights
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Review
  • A pioneering attorney who fought for civil and women’s rights, Elaine, widowed and in her eighties, has enlisted the help of a young, eager archivist as she organizes her papers before donating them to the University of Southern California. Much to her consternation, Josh turns up evidence of the deep chasm in her life, the long-ago disappearance of her twin sister. Steinberg, an arts journalist and mystery writer, wings us back to the sisters’ Los Angeles childhood as daughters of anxious Jewish refugees from Hitler’s genocide. As she tells the very different stories of Elaine the brain and Barbara the beauty and their catastrophic love for the same tough, passionate boy, Zionist Danny, Steinberg also slowly reveals the secrets of their mother (“a genius at playing cards”) and daring Aunt Pearl. Though plainly told, even procedural in tone, Steinberg’s quietly suspenseful novel is compelling by virtue of her sympathetic characters, vivid depiction of WWII-era Los Angeles, and pinpoint illuminations of poverty, anti-Semitism, family bonds and betrayals, and the crushing obstacles facing women seeking full and fulfilling lives. -- Seaman, Donna (Reviewed 01-01-2013) (Booklist, vol 109, number 9, p41)
  • When Elaine Greenstein stumbles on an old business card in her mother's papers, she wonders if it might be the key to finding her twin sister, Barbara, who disappeared at the age of 18. But this pleasantly sturdy drama is not in any hurry to solve the mystery. Even-keeled despite a tumultuous narrative, the book slides back to Elaine's formative years and progresses in stately fashion. The scene is early-20th-century Boyle Heights, a diverse Los Angeles neighborhood where the Greensteins and their Jewish neighbors have formed a thriving community. Elaine explores their struggles as a young girl, the immigration experiences of her mother and grandfather, her free-spirited aunt's attempts to live on her own terms, and her cousin's courageous union organizing. Steinberg's (Death in a City of Mystics) careful and satisfying characterizations extend to neighbors and friends as well, creating a vibrant portrait of community. Moving alongside these personal stories are larger historical forces, notably the Depression and, as Elaine enters her turbulent teenage years, the looming threat of war. Elaine's relationship with her sister, complicated by a messy love triangle, comes to a head amid global upheaval. Nearly 70 years later, as she remembers and reexamines her past, Elaine hopes that buried wounds might finally be healed if she can only find her twin sister. (Feb.) --Staff (Reviewed February 11, 2013) (Publishers Weekly, vol 260, issue 06, p)
  • Mystery author Steinberg breaks out with a novel rooted in memory. While packing up her belongings as she prepares to move to a retirement community, octogenarian Elaine Greenstein finds something that hints at what happened to her twin sister, Barbara, who went missing from their home in Boyle Heights, CA, a close Jewish community, on the eve of World War II. The historical forces shaping her immigrant family also figure here. With book club outreach and sales to over a half dozen foreign countries. --Barbara Hoffert (Reviewed October 1, 2012) (Library Journal, vol 137, issue 16, p55)
  • Suspense writer Steinberg (Death in a City of Mystics, 1998, etc.) folds a missing person mystery into a Jewish multigenerational family history set in Boyle Heights, once a distinctly Jewish neighborhood in Los Angeles. About to move into a Los Angeles retirement home, former activist lawyer Elaine is preparing her archives to donate to USC when she stumbles upon a business card from the private detective she worked with in her 20s, Philip Marlowe no less: They met when she was the cute, intellectual clerk in The Big Heat bookstore scene. Soon, 80-something Elaine is revving up a renewed search for her twin sister, Barbara, based on a name she finds scribbled on the back of Philip's card: Kay Devereaux. Meanwhile, she is remembering her childhood. Steinberg's Boyle Heights is the quintessential, bordering on stereotypical, early-20th-century Jewish-American ghetto. Elaine's mother, an immigrant from Romania with a dramatic streak, and her father, a shoe salesman who had to quit high school despite his love of literature after his older brother died in World War I, head the cast of colorful relatives as Elaine's stories pile on a glut of dramatic coincidences and family lore that may or may not be true. At the center of Elaine's memories is her relationship with Barbara. As children, the twins were inseparable even though Barbara was social and lively, Elaine quiet and smart. By high school, the sisters were moving in different directions, Elaine toward scholarship and idealism, Barbara toward the Hollywood world of entertainment. They both loved the same boy, Danny, who loved both of them in different ways. Then, in 1939, after an event Elaine is loath to remember, Barbara disappeared. Despite raising provocative questions about twinship, Jewish identity, family roles and betrayal, Steinberg's attempt to combine a heartstring pulling, realistic family saga and film-noirish mystery-solving feels unsatisfying and slightly bipolar.(Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2012)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10167530
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1950-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Steinberg, Janice
Dewey number
813/.6
Index
no index present
LC call number
PS3619.T476195
LC item number
T56 2013
Literary form
novels
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Twins
  • Reminiscing in old age
  • Missing persons
  • Boyle Heights (Los Angeles, Calif.)
  • Jewish fiction
Target audience
adult
Label
The tin horse, a novel by Janice Steinberg
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
340 pages
Isbn
9780679643746
Isbn Type
(hbk.)
Lccn
2012020156
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • 794306408
  • (OCoLC)794306408
Label
The tin horse, a novel by Janice Steinberg
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
340 pages
Isbn
9780679643746
Isbn Type
(hbk.)
Lccn
2012020156
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • 794306408
  • (OCoLC)794306408

Library Locations

    • Williamsburg LibraryBorrow it
      515 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, VA, 23185, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
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