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The Cantor's Daughter: Stories

de Scott Nadelson

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The Cantor's Daughter is the compelling new collection from Oregon Book Award Winner and recipient of the GLCA's New Writers Award for 2005, Scott Nadelson. In his follow-up toSaving Stanley, these stories capture Jewish New Jersey suburbanites in moments of crucial transition, when they have the opportunity to connect with those closest to them or forever miss their chance for true intimacy. In "The Headhunter," two men develop an unlikely friendship at work, but after twenty years of mutually supporting each other's families and careers their friendship comes to an abrupt and surprising end. In the title story, Noa Nechemia and her father have immigrated from Israel following a tragic car accident her mother did not survive. In one stunning moment of insight following a disastrous prom night, Noa discovers her ability to transcend grief and determine the direction of her own life. And in "Half a Day in Halifax" Beth and Roger meet on a cruise ship where their shared lack of enthusiasm for their trip sparks the possibility of romance. Nadelson's stories are sympathetic, heartbreaking, and funny as they investigate the characters' fragile emotional bonds and the fears that often cause those bonds to falter or fail.… (mais)
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I so much love to find a book of short stories in which all of the stories are engaging and well written. Those in this collection were about Jewish folks, although the stories themselves were not about Judaism per se. Those of us who are Jewish will find something vaguely familiar about the characters - even in their generic settings.

The uncertainty of human relationships is the theme that binds the stories. In "The Cantor's Daughter", a girl rebels against her father's parenting. "Half a Day in Halifax" examines the relationship of the attraction of a young couple who meet on a cruise. "Rehearsal" brings to the forefront a family's preconceived ideas about a wayward member.

However, the most powerful story was the longest and last one. Named "The Headhunter", it told of Len, a down-and-out young man and how his career as headhunter began to bloom when he found a better job for a chemist named Howard Rifkin. A headhunter is usually not friend to his clients. Whether Len and Rifkin were truly friends was uncertain, but everything that bound their so-called friendship was tested in this remarkable story.

Every story of this book was good, but the last one simply blew me away. What an exceptional way to end an excellent book! ( )
  SqueakyChu | Oct 1, 2011 |
I found these stories interesting and well-written. There were times when I had to suspend credibility, but overall I cared about the characters living in suburban New Jersey. ( )
  suesbooks | Sep 9, 2010 |
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The Cantor's Daughter is the compelling new collection from Oregon Book Award Winner and recipient of the GLCA's New Writers Award for 2005, Scott Nadelson. In his follow-up toSaving Stanley, these stories capture Jewish New Jersey suburbanites in moments of crucial transition, when they have the opportunity to connect with those closest to them or forever miss their chance for true intimacy. In "The Headhunter," two men develop an unlikely friendship at work, but after twenty years of mutually supporting each other's families and careers their friendship comes to an abrupt and surprising end. In the title story, Noa Nechemia and her father have immigrated from Israel following a tragic car accident her mother did not survive. In one stunning moment of insight following a disastrous prom night, Noa discovers her ability to transcend grief and determine the direction of her own life. And in "Half a Day in Halifax" Beth and Roger meet on a cruise ship where their shared lack of enthusiasm for their trip sparks the possibility of romance. Nadelson's stories are sympathetic, heartbreaking, and funny as they investigate the characters' fragile emotional bonds and the fears that often cause those bonds to falter or fail.

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