From National Book Award nominee Anne Roiphe comes this moving memoir of growing up in a wealthy Jewish home with a family who had money, status, culture -- everything but happiness.
While the nation was at war abroad, Roiphe, who was coming of age in 1940s New York City, saw her parents at war in their living room. Roiphe's evocative writing puts readers right in Apartment 8C, where a constant tension plays out between a disappointed and ineffectual mother, a philandering father who uses his wife's money to entertain other women, and a difficult brother. Behind the leisure culture of wealthy Jewish society -- the mahjongg games, the cocktail parties, the summer houses -- lurks a brutality that strikes a chord with a daughter who longs to heal the wounds of her troubled family.
Writing with a novelist's sensibility, Roiphe reveals the poignant story of a family that has finally claimed its material wealth in a prosperous America but has yet to claim its spiritual due.
Morris Dickstein author of Gates of Eden and Double Agent The stresses and joys of family life have always been at the heart of Anne Roiphe's books, but never more vividly than in this fine memoir of growing up rich and Jewish in New York during the 1940s and 50s. The writing is so fresh, so buoyant that the characters fairly leap off the page -- the insecure, self-absorbed mother, the angry, philandering father, the younger brother, resentful and difficult, who pays dearly for his parents' loveless marriage. And finally Roiphe herself, who rebels against Park Avenue in her own way, by turning bohemian, marrying badly, and becoming a writer. The result is a social and personal history at once shrewd, funny and ultimately heartbreaking.