This book was a bit structurally divergent from most other Lake Union books I’ve read – while also being longer than others at 442 pages, it divided those pages up into nearly 70 short-ish chapters rather than the more common 20-30 mid-length chapters. Since I was just having a discussion about such things in one of my Facebook book groups recently, it felt worthy of mentioning here.
Overall, the story is very nicely told, beginning circa 1912 or so in Russia and then moving to the US in 1913, where the majority of the rest of the story – save for the last couple of chapters – plays out primarily in New York City. The descriptions of life as an immigrant Jew seem accurate to my knowledge of the actual history and yet tell an excellent tale of a family doing whatever it takes to give their daughter the life they think she deserves. Along the way we encounter World War I – also a topic of two other recent Lake Union books -, the Roaring Twenties, Prohibition, the Stock Market Crash of 1929, the Depression, and finally, World War II, where we end. The story ultimately calls into question the lengths a mother is willing to go through for her child and the secrets she is willing to bear, but even goes deeper than many books that explore these issues and dares to go into infertility and what truly makes a mother. It is for these last two reasons in addition to simply great storytelling that this book rises above many others. Excellent book, yet another smash hit from Lake Union. Very much looking forward to seeing more work from this author.
And as always, the Goodreads/ Amazon review:
Lasting Love. How long can a mother keep her secrets? What makes a mother? These are ultimately the questions at the heart of this multi generational tale of interweaving secrets. A very intriguing book, and one historical fiction fans should love. Its descriptions of life between 1913 and 1943 seem accurate, and the tales it tells bring those periods to life. Solid work from yet another new-to-me author. Very much looking forward to more work from Mr. Falconer.