Sunday, October 2, 2011

Book Review: "Scattered Seed" by Maisie Mosco

Scattered Seed,
Maisie Mosco
Harper Collins

When shall we twain,
join hands again,
no more to part,
thou hast my heart?”

Life’s lessons are learnt and not taught, and the medium of learning is the course of life, and every pupil is in himself a school-incarnate. One realizes this and acknowledges many other enlightening phases and modes of life after having read Maisie Mosco’s Scattered Seed, which is the second book of a trilogy about a Russian Jewish family which emigrates to North Manchester, England in early 20th century in order to escape the anti-Jewish riots and pogroms which erupted in pre-Soviet Tsarist Russia in late 1800s and continued till early 1900s.
The assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881 for which some hold the Jews blameworthy, provokes a large-scale, massive, violent yet organized anti-Semitic riots and massacres. With the lapse of time, in the early 20th century, despite military interventions, these retaliatory attacks become bloodier and homicidal as the Jews now take to arms to defend their homes, families and property from their Christian assailants. During these pogroms, thousands of Jewish families are torn asunder and reduced to a life of drudgery. With their homes thus destroyed, a large number of Jews seek new havens for refuge which they soon find in England and United States. Unfortunately enough, soon the initial airs of sympathy transform into a general attitude of social estrangement and aversion.
Sara and Abraham’s is one such family which struggles through the initial phases of homelessness and poverty, later stages of emigration and settling in England, and then subsequent alienation and degradation by the British society. This story is a family’s journey through all tinges and shades of life, be it white, black, or grey.  However clichéd it may sound, but yes, it is true that once started, the book with its grins and grimaces, meal-times’ discord and weekends’ reunion, and religious festivals and social occupations, glues the readers to it for as long as the narrative lasts. However, brief references to historical and religious details and elaborated and inter-twined kinship ties may often confuse the reader.
All in all, it is a good read for the lovers of religious history in particular and even a better read for the lovers of books in general!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post. I will certainly buy this book.