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FREE ì Bear Boy õ Cynthia Ozick has been known for decades as one of America s most gifted and extraordinary storytellers her remarkable new novel has established her as one of the most enticingly readable as well Heir to the Glimmering World received exuberant reviews after its hardcover publication, and Ozick, on her first ever book tour, was welcomed by standing room only crowds Reading groups, too, have embraced the novel, which was selected by Ann Patchett for NBC s Today Show Book Club Set in the New York of the s, Heir to the Glimmering World is an entrancing, richly plotted novel brimming with intriguing characters Orphaned at eighteen, with few possessions, Rose Meadows finds steady employment with the Mitwisser clan Recently arrived from Berlin, the Mitwissers rely on the auspices of a generous benefactor, James A Bair, the discontented heir to a fortune his father, a famous children s author, made from a series of books called The Bear Boy Rose watches as the refugee family s fortunes rise and fall, against the vivid backdrop of a world in tumult Ozick s novel is a thrilling read that will undoubtedly gain this lauded author new readers in paperback This novel was completely unpredictable and not like anything I had ever read before and that in itself makes it worth reading But beyond that the prose is beautiful. Brilliant A wonder and a joy It s the mid 1930s and Herr Professor and Frau Mitwisser, being Jews, have fled Hitler s Germany with their big family Thanks to the charitable Quakers, known for their tradition of religious tolerance, the Mitwisser Family is brought to New York, to Albany, where the professor begins to lecture at the Quaker college Mrs Mitwisser is deeply depressed, however, sometimes verging on the delusional, having had to abandon her high profile scientific pursuits She d Brilliant A wonder and a joy It s the mid 1930s and Herr Professor and Frau Mitwisser, being Jews, have fled Hitler s Germany with their big family Thanks to the charitable Quakers, known for their tradition of religious tolerance, the Mitwisser Family is brought to New York, to Albany, where the professor begins to lecture at the Quaker college Mrs Mitwisser is deeply depressed, however, sometimes verging on the delusional, having had to abandon her high profile scientific pursuits She d worked closely with Erwin Schr dinger She has now withdrawn from the rest of the family and lies inert in a remote sitting room Our narrator, eighteen year old Rose, answers an ad in an Albany newspaper and comes to work for the Mitwissers Actually, the ad is hilariously vague as to just what Rose s duties are going to be, but she answers it anyway because she has to get out of her cousin Bertrand s apartment since he s fallen in love with the loudmouthed Communist Ninel Lenin spelled backwards , and Rose has fallen for Bertrand who, though very kind, just thinks of her as a kid, which she resents The Mitwisser household also includes sixteen year old Annaliese, three younger boys Heinz, Willi and Gert and a toddler daughter Waltraut Soon they move to the Bronx because the professor, torn from Europe s great libraries due to the imminent war, has to continue his scholarly study of a heretical group of tenth century Jews, the Karaites, at the New York Public Library Interlarded with the story of the Mitwissers and Rose and the Karaites is the story of The Bear Boy As a child, during the decade of The Great War, this fellow became the model for his father s dazzlingly successful series of children s books Now in mid life he s a lost soul who hates his immense wealth and lives a semi debauched, drifter s existence That s pretty much the setup, so I ll leave you hanging there Suffice it to say, the novel s language is rich without being daunting, its plot sprightly, and its structure awe inspiring I really came to care for these vividly drawn characters, even the cynical Bear Boy, whose influence as patron of the Mitwisser household causes major friction between the professor and his wife Cynthia Ozick is my new favorite writer I plan to read everything she s written Also exquisitely good are her The Messiah of Stockholm and The Puttermesser Papers, both of which I have reviewed Listening to the audio of Heir to the Glimmering World, narrated by the amazing Julie Dretzin, was a wondrous and rich experience Rose Meadows, exiled from Albany, arrives in the Bronx to serve as a caretaker secretary for the Mitwisser family, refugees from Hitler s Germany The plot meanders amongst the Mitwissers, Rose, her cousin Bertram and James A Bair who brings tumult to their household Ozick s use of language is stunning and her control of the narrative is brilliant I loved this no Listening to the audio of Heir to the Glimmering World, narrated by the amazing Julie Dretzin, was a wondrous and rich experience Rose Meadows, exiled from Albany, arrives in the Bronx to serve as a caretaker secretary for the Mitwisser family, refugees from Hitler s Germany The plot meanders amongst the Mitwissers, Rose, her cousin Bertram and James A Bair who brings tumult to their household Ozick s use of language is stunning and her control of the narrative is brilliant I loved this novel This book was NOT the thrill I anticipated after listening to Ann Patchett recommend it on NBC s Book Club She RAVED about this story effusively, calling it all books for all people The story line sounded interesting a displaced immigrant Jewish family in 1930 s New York state needing to hire a young girl for unspecified help.and had me running to the library to find this book.I just do not get it I found myself having to doggedly PLOW through this story Julia s words of never not finish This book was NOT the thrill I anticipated after listening to Ann Patchett recommend it on NBC s Book Club She RAVED about this story effusively, calling it all books for all people The story line sounded interesting a displaced immigrant Jewish family in 1930 s New York state needing to hire a young girl for unspecified help.and had me running to the library to find this book.I just do not get it I found myself having to doggedly PLOW through this story Julia s words of never not finishing a book ringing in my ears I had to work at it I just found the writing frequently awkward and odd The flow felt erratic, the descriptions often had a weirdness to them, there was needless repetition it was difficult to identify with any of the characters Yet this author is touted as brilliant This book left me shaking my head quizzically.I should say that one of the characters in the story is based on the real Christopher Robin of A A Milne fame The grown up Christopher Robin was an unhappy man who was alienated from his father who had used him as story fodder I found that to be very sad.I finished this book with a sigh of relief less