Up from Orchard Street

Up from Orchard Street In the tradition of Like Water for Chocolate and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn this exhilarating novel centered around a memorable immigrant family brings to vibrant life the soul and spirit of New York s

  • Title: Up from Orchard Street
  • Author: Eleanor Widmer
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 322
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • In the tradition of Like Water for Chocolate and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, this exhilarating novel centered around a memorable immigrant family brings to vibrant life the soul and spirit of New York s legendary Lower East Side.Up from Orchard Streetwhere three generations of Roths live together in a crowded tenement flat at number 12 Long widowed Manya is the familyIn the tradition of Like Water for Chocolate and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, this exhilarating novel centered around a memorable immigrant family brings to vibrant life the soul and spirit of New York s legendary Lower East Side.Up from Orchard Streetwhere three generations of Roths live together in a crowded tenement flat at number 12 Long widowed Manya is the family s head and its heart mother of dapper Jack, mother in law of frail and beautiful Lil, and adored bubby of Elka and Willy She s renowned throughout the teeming neighborhood for her mouthwatering cooking, and every noontime the front room of the flat turns into Manya s private restaurant, where the local merchants come to savor her hearty stews and soups, succulent potato latkes and tzimmes, preserved fruits and glorious pastries She is just as renowned for her fierce sense of honor, her quick eye for charlatans, and her generosity to those in need But Manya is no soft touch except, perhaps, where her adored granddaughter Elka is concerned It is skinny, precocious Elka who is her closest companion and confidante and the narrator of this event packed novel Through Elka s eyes we come to know the fascinating characters who come in and out of the Roths lives relatives, eccentric locals, doctors, busybody neighbors as well as the many men who try fruitlessly to win voluptuous Manya s favors We live through the bittersweet world of these blunt, earthy, feisty people for whom poverty was endemic, illness common, crises frequent, and zest for living intense Money may have been short but opinions were not, and their tart tongues and lively humor invest every page In this riveting story lies the heart of the American immigrant experience a novel at once wise, funny, poignant, anguishing, exultant and bursting with love.From the Hardcover edition.

    One thought on “Up from Orchard Street”

    1. Description: Up from Orchard Streetwhere three generations of Roths live together in a crowded tenement flat at number 12. Long-widowed Manya is the family’s head and its heart: mother of dapper Jack, mother-in-law of frail and beautiful Lil, and adored bubby of Elka and Willy. She’s renowned throughout the teeming neighborhood for her mouthwatering cooking, and every noontime the front room of the flat turns into Manya’s private restaurant, where the local merchants come to savor her hear [...]

    2. EVERYONE should read this book. i thought it was fantastic. my mom and dad lived on the lower east side as children. my mom actually lived on Orchard St. this book answered so many questions of the little things she does and why. for anyone that wants a bit of history and to learn more about the wonderful older people that are still with us to share their stories, it is a must read

    3. My favorite book in MONTHS.This is the kind of book that is meant for me. A family with lots of members, lots of troubles, most of whose members are incredibly easy to love? I especially loved Manya and Jack, and obviously Elka - I think making the protagonist a reader is an easy way to endear him/her to most of us - and the doctors and Bertha/Goodman and the Connecticut people. I hated Lil. I hated Lil from pretty much the moment we met her until the end of the book, and every character associa [...]

    4. I find all these reader references to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn annoying - ha! but aren't they exactly what made me want to try this book on?!! And they're not even wrong - this is what surprised me the most. It does at times have that same feel - although with more. Everything is more in UFOS. I would find it very difficult to describe this book. If it's possible for blinding poverty and parental neglect to have a nostalgic atmosphere, it's here. I would have given it one less star if it weren't [...]

    5. What a great depiction of a life very similar to that lived by each of my parents. It took me back to my parent's time and I could almost taste Manya's food. How wonderful that people treated each other with such kindness. A favor was never forgotten and a person was good for their word. I loved the Yiddish and the philosophical statements - I could visualize my grandmother's face and the shrug of her shoulders when she made similar comments. A wonderful story - especially so for anyone who grew [...]

    6. This was a tough choice - 4 or 5 stars? I ultimately gave it four stars because as much as I liked it, it didn't make me race to the end or weep for the beauty of the prose. But this book is excellent and I described it to a friend of mine as 'All of a Kind Family for adults.' Which is just the kind of book I've been hoping to find for quite a long time.

    7. This was the first book I bought on my Kindle. I read it in one day! I loved the story about a turn of the century Jewish family struggling to survive in the Lower East Side. I grew up in the hard knocks of the 70s and 80s on the LES within a Colombian family. Although the details might be different, we shared a lot with this story (don't remember if it's partly fictional).

    8. Very EnjoyableBut Much More Of A Fictionalized Memoir than A Traditional Novel!If you are expecting a traditional novel with a beginning, middle and end, then Up From Orchard Street is not going to meet your expectations. That's because it is not a traditional novel. Instead Up From Orchard Street is primarily a highly enjoyable memoir -- albeit fictionalized -- of the author's life during her pre/early teen years growing up with her Jewish immigrant grandmother, parents, and younger brother in [...]

    9. I saw this book at the Tenement Museum bookstore and decided to get it from the library later. I'm glad I did. This is a novel, but as the author grew up in New York's Lower East Side, I have to assume that the book is partially a memoir. It tells the story of Manya, a Russian Jewish immigrant whose husband unfortunately died not long after they arrived in NYC. She raised her son on her own, as well as her younger sister, and for a time ran a popular restaurant in her apartment. The story is tol [...]

    10. This was a good book to show the life of immigrant Jews in New York City. Foods, and customs are unique and interesting. I also thought that the way the family talked about sex openly was interesting. This might be offensive to some. Perhaps it would be better if that topic wasn't 'taboo.' I enjoyed the voice of the narrator. Her story seemed real and well told. At the end of the book it said that some of the story was real. **stop here for spoilers** A young girl and boy live with their grandmo [...]

    11. A memoir of types of a multi-generational family growing up in New York. The time period seemed vague: after the depression, mostly during WWII without it being mentioned. Seemed to skip through time without the characters aging. I didn't enjoy the occasional snippets of sexual behaviors seemingly thrown in at random for shock value. It was told in the point of view of a young girl, but the main character seemed to switch around. I thought the young girls character could have been better describ [...]

    12. The tenement museum is one of my favorite in New York. This book brings to life the story of a family who might have lived. The aspect of life that struck me most was the community. In New York today we talk about which parts of the city are most like a neighborhood, but even the most neighborhoody parts of New York today pale in comparison to life then. Everyone knows the names, families and fortunes or misfortunes of everyone on their block. When something good or bad happens to one family, al [...]

    13. For the Book Group & Veggie Potluck, coming up here the end of February, I searched the Alameda Free Library for books about the immigrant experience, filtering my search for Russian immigrants. Of the four books my search turned up, all had female protagonists (not a complaint, just stating fact). This one is about a grandmother in 1930s New York, who stowed away in a freighter with her young husband from Odessa, Ukraine. They have one child, the husband dies of TB, the child marries and th [...]

    14. Fun heartbreaking courageous This part memoir part Historical part fiction brought early 20th century NYC tenement living to life. As an audio book it was perfectly read by Lorna Raver. The Jewish idioms the NYC accent all pitch perfect! She brought all the characters to life! From Bubba the matriarch of the family whoLoved big not only her family but everyoneher young grand daughter Elka growing up so poor but with much love! Elka's mother Lil the blonde with the great legs Her father JackSo ma [...]

    15. Normally I do not take kindly to books being compared to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (note to jacket-flap writers: having a skinny female adolescent as a protagonist is NOT ENOUGH), but in this case it was not totally off the mark. The best part is learning how many Yiddish proverbs, truisms, and morality tales evidently have to do with earthy sex (case in point: "A single pubic hair is stronger than ten oxen"). Obviously, this was more than half memoir; the only major frustration, given that it wa [...]

    16. The families of all four of my grandparents (Irish and Jewish) have been in NYC since the 1880s and I'm a sucker for books like this. However, although I gave it three stars, I can't believe the upscale and wealthy people who befriended this family - Dr K, Goodman, Estelle - always bailing them out just in the nick of time. I loved the historical aspects (on a recent visit to the Tenement Museum I bought this and 5 other books) but really found myself getting annoyed as more and more of these "m [...]

    17. I'm in the minority on this rating. The only thing that kept me reading was that this book has 4 and 5 stars on review sites. I thought it rambled ond onWhat really bothered me, though, is that the book is written from the reference of a very young girl and through out the story she is seeing or hearing people having lations or she is overhearing people discussing either affairs or their married relations. Really? seems unusual for a child to hear or be aware of such, certainly on such a continu [...]

    18. I loved this book. As I read it I felt is must be a memoir although they didn't mention that at the beginning of the book. The afterword, however, made it clear that is was part memoir, part social history and part fiction.Two days after finishing it, I still feel close to this family and their joys, sorrows and resiliency. It has been compared to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and I can see why.

    19. This is undoubtedly the best book I have read since last summer's Rebecca Wells novel. The story is heartbreaking, yet hopeful and life-affirming. The characters are so real (I will not give away ANY spoilers), I wanted to adopt several. I was so moved to live vicariously the struggles of turn-of-the-century immigrants; I am eager for my husband to read this, as both his grandfathers came to America during that era and lived in the tenements. I urge all my friends to read this book!

    20. The author says this book is ."part memoir, part social history, part fiction. Nevertheless, every word is true." I truly loved this book and the great characters will stay with me a long time. Having been to the Tenement Museum on Orchard Street twice make ii even more meaningful.The main character's father's description of a librarian cracks me up:"Did you ever see a classy librarian? They have no style, wear flat-heeld shoes, no makeup, and glasses."

    21. I read the non-fiction book "97 Orchard : An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement" a few years ago so this fiction book on the shelf caught my attention. Fascinating story of jewish immigrants living in tenement housing - lots of food traditions and history. Interesting read.

    22. I really enjoyed listening to this book. The reader was incredible and captured the New York Jewish accent perfectly which only enhanced the story of Bubbie and Elka. They are living with family in a tenement on the lower east side,barely getting by. This multigenerational extended family are blunt,wise,loud,irritating and endearing all at once. 402 pages

    23. Beautifully read by Lorna Raver, I kept forgetting this was"fiction," not strictly a memoir. I remember food critic Eleanor Widmer from my early San Diego days A little kooky. This lovely story recreates the lower east side of her New York childhood. Not easy times, but told with such warmth, I know I'll be thinking about this book for a long time.

    24. Very good. Listened to this on Audible and the narrator was very good. I started talking like an old Jewish grandmother! The story itself was at times amusing, but the family relationships were seemingly quite difficult. Also, the story's ending was just that - - it ended. I wish certain things had been resolved more completely.

    25. A memoir/novel about a family growing changing and living in New York city in the time before WWII. Manya is the matriarch of the family who fled the cossacks in Odessa. The story is told from the point of view of her favorite grand daughter Elke. The remaining characters Jack, Lil, Clayton and others fill out a slate of characters that you will not soon forget. A very enjoyable family story.

    26. A great story of multi-generational family in the tenements of New York in the 1930s. They finally work themselves out of that deprivation but then regret the loss of the close relationships they had in that neighborhood.

    27. This book reminded me so much of my grandma and she was so dear to me . Too bad the author died before this book was completed so we will never see another book from the author . Her son completed this book for her and what a loving tribute to her , for her son to finish it .

    28. I listened to this rather than read it over a period of about a month--had I read it I think I would have finished it faster and liked it a bit more. I really enjoyed reading about Jewish life in New York city during the the early 1900s--really fun/interesting glimpses.

    29. I loved the description of the tenement lifestyle. The girl's parents were so self-serving that I had a hard time enjoying the family interactions. I grew up in an immigrant family as well but my grandmother would have never condoned such neglect.

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