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5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Novel on Love, Loss and Family Relationships, 30 April 2013
By 
John Kwok (New York, NY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The World Without You (Vintage Contemporaries) (Paperback)
"The World Without You" is a brilliant fictional evocation of a family torn asunder by the unexpected death of its only son and brother, set exactly one year - a July 4th - after his funeral. In the town of Lenox the Frankel clan reunites to hold a memorial service for the son and brother imprisoned and then murdered by Islamic terrorists while he was covering the American war in Iraq. Henkin has written an emotionally riveting, quite engrossing, look at family dynamics, giving us three memorable female characters in the sisters, Clarissa, Lily and Noelle Frankel; the eldest, Clarissa, is trying to have a child with her husband at the age of thirty-nine; Lily is a mercurial lawyer willing to rage about everything; the youngest, Noelle, a born-again Orthodox Jew, returns with her family from Israel and feels entirely out of place. And then there is the widow of their younger brother Leo, Thisbe, who arrives with their young son Calder, troubled by a secret she harbors which she doesn't wish to divulge to the entire Frankel clan. Both Frankel parents, David and Marilyn, possess a secret that will have an adverse impact on the family. This is a novel that, in the words of the writer Gary Shteyngart, is "Witty and wise, poignant and heartfelt. The Fourth of July will never be the same for me, or for my fellow Americans". It is one of the finest recent novels I have read regarding love, loss and memory as seen through the eyes of the Frankel family struggling to put behind the tragic death of Leo Frankel. Without question, Henkin is a genuine literary treasure and "The World Without You" will be remembered as an important literary landmark in his career.
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The World Without You (Vintage Contemporaries)
The World Without You (Vintage Contemporaries) by Joshua Henkin (Paperback - 9 April 2013)
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