التخطي إلى المحتوى الرئيسي
Displaying 1 of 1
Willa & Hesper
2019
Please select and request a specific volume by clicking one of the icons in the 'Find It' section below.
التوافر
Map It
صورة كبيرة للغلاف
المراجعات التجارية

  مراجعة نيويورك تايمز

there was a joke that zipped around my middle school: " What's worse than a worm in your apple?" "Genocide." I recalled that joke when reading Amy Feltman's debut novel, "Willa & Hesper," which does accidentally what that longago joke did deliberately: assign the mundane and the tragic equal weight. The result is a muddled first effort in which drama and melodrama are hard to distinguish. The novel follows two young women who fall in love while pursuing creative writing M.F.A.s at Columbia. (Feltman, now on the advertising staff at Poets & Writers magazine, earned her M.F.A. at the same school in 2016.) It's worth noting that debut novels set in creative degree programs, where this novel was likely written, join a crowded field. After breaking up, Willa and Hesper each travel, separately, to the Old World, to discover their roots and soothe their heartache. Willa signs up for an "INSPIRING JEWISH SURVIVOR TRIP!" to concentration camps in Germany (a plausible internet marketing tactic, though perhaps without the exclamation point), while Hesper travels with her family to Tbilisi, Georgia, to learn about her grandfather's past. The novel belongs to a growing genre of books about young Jewish Americans exploring their Eastern European backgrounds to better understand themselves - in the company of Nicole Krauss's "The History of Love," Dara Horn's "The World to Come" and, most similarly, Jonathan Safran Foer's delightful "Everything Is Illuminated," in which a young Jewish American travels to Ukraine in search of the woman who once saved his grandfather from the Nazis. That first devastating breakup is fertile territory for a novelist: The misery, irrationality and fits of self-destruction that young exes indulge are all excellent fodder for fiction. But instead of exploring the particulars of these women's pain, Feltman concocts a series of historical and familial tragedies, both big and small, for them to reckon with - including a secret adoption, a major natural disaster and the Holocaust. When she tries to return to Willa and Hesper's post-breakup suffering, it seems trivial by comparison, the worms in the apple. Meanwhile, the heroines, who narrate alternating chapters, react with the same agony to both the minor crises (like learning that your ex has a new favorite place to eat caramel walnut cake) and the major ones (like the attempted extermination of an entire population). We get the sense that Willa has always been hypersensitive: "You're emotionally immune deficient," a friend once told her. "When I'm around you, everything hurts a little bit extra." But soon Hesper, at first free-spirited and selfish, starts to behave similarly deficient. Their constant mutual torment renders the reader somewhat numb. By the time the corpses of bears and wildcats float through the streets due to a flood at a Tbisili zoo (yes, really), I could barely muster a reaction. "Willa & Hesper" does contain some gems of observational writing, particularly when it comes to Hesper and her older sister, Ada, who lovingly scrapes the fleshy inside of Hesper's cheek with her fingernail when she's sad, one of those strange sibling rituals that inexplicably confirm you're not alone in the world. The particulars of the sisters' relationship - "when we were kids, she'd locked me in the pantry with all the canned goods because the cat liked me better," Hesper remembers - and the knotty connection between their divorced but still-involved parents feel more compelling than the relationship between the novel's namesakes. Willa and Hesper do end up unearthing deeper truths about themselves and humanity. Near the end Willa muses, "I had been raised to think that history was a series of events that had passed, instead of a ravenous snake that slinked out of eyeshot, ready to snap us up at any capricious moment." Of course, the past isn't even past - but we didn't need so many theatrics to remind us of that. The misery and self-destruction that young exes indulge metke excellent fodder for fiction. ZOE Greenberg is on the Opinion staff at The Times.

  استعراض للمجلة الأسبوعية للناشرين

In this thoughtful and fascinating debut from Feltman, two students in Columbia's MFA program in 2016 spiral into a romance-and just as quickly spiral out. When Hesper strikes up a conversation with Willa in a diner in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, their attraction is undeniable; Hesper is enchanting and adventurous, and Willa is endearingly attentive. The two begin to tentatively navigate the unfamiliar territory of dating women (the first such experience for both of them), narrating alternating chapters. But Willa's intensity soon gets under Hesper's skin; she seems to love Hesper too much, and Hesper can't shake the certainty she will push Willa away. Both reeling from a break-up conversation that the reader never fully sees, Willa and Hesper fly from their pain: Hesper travels to Tbilisi, Georgia, on a quest to learn about her grandfather's past; Willa's roommate signs her up for an "Inspiring Jewish Survivor Trip!" to Germany and, to her own surprise, Willa goes. Feltman slices directly to the core of heartbreak's ugliest moments: the temptation to fall back into patterns, to keep running from intimacy and risks. She evocatively captures the tension between aching to move on and not give up, and how the shattering of one relationship fractures others. Feltman stays away from happy ending conventions and skillfully weaves glimmers of hope and healing throughout, making for a keenly perceptive novel. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
موجز
<p>In WILLA & HESPER, two young women fall in love. When they fall apart, they unwittingly take the same path to heal from their breakup, seeking answers in the lands of their ancestors. From Tbilisi, Georgia to the war sites of Germany, they discover what can break and what can mend when you look to the past to understand your present.</p> <p>Willa's darkness enters Hesper's light late one night in Brooklyn. Theirs is a whirlwind romance until Willa starts to know Hesper too well, to crawl into her hidden spaces, and Hesper shuts her out. She runs, following her fractured family back to her grandfather's hometown of Tbilisi, Georgia, looking for the origin story that he is no longer able to tell. But once in Tbilisi, cracks appear in her grandfather's history-and a massive flood is heading toward Georgia, threatening any hope for repair.</p>
وجهة نظر مسؤول المكتبة
Displaying 1 of 1