Review: Visible City

Visible City, by Tova Mirvis, is a predictable story in many aspects, but I still am glad that I read it. I found the almost “voyeur” aspect to be interesting, and the thoughts that are dreamed up while one person stares out of their window, with their own set of passions, desires and loyalties.

Nina is that person, and stare she does, at every given opportunity.  If it is during the night, she turns off the lights so as not to attract attention. What she sees happening in an apartment across the way, enhances her imagination, and her perception of what the individuals are like.  As the reader reads on, they realize that not everything is as it appears to be.  In fact, the couple who live in the apartment are not so different from Nina and her family, in the sense that their married life seems to be complacent. Nina desires more in life, yet doesn’t have the ambition to seek it.

The novel gives a wonderful overview of New York City, its brilliant architecture, some modern, some old and abandoned.  We are given snippets of the exteriors and interiors of the abandoned buildings, as some of the characters skulk through them out of a passionate desire to learn about them. We are also taken into the world of stained-glass art and all of its illuminations.  Through this examination, we are seen how the passions, desires and loyalties flare up from the deep-set goals that some of the characters hold.

Six individuals meet in various places where they normally go to spend some time away from their homes.  Some of them end up living on the edge, merging their connections into areas better left undone.

Passionate moments are strong within the pages, and by that I mean passionate in every sense, including one’s drives, dreams and life accomplishments.  What one views as important and a driving force is not necessarily so for another person.  In relationships each person should accept the other for their own interests and goals, whether the interests and goals are theirs, or not.  They should offer encouragement, and not discouragement.

The urban aspect is strongly illuminated. Mirvis’ word-images are depicted quite vividly. This reader could envision everything she painted with her prose.  All of my senses were filled as my own imagination took hold.

I enjoyed how each character was somewhat flawed, as we all are, in reality.  I enjoyed the city tour through their eyes, and enjoyed the human perspectives, and how we see people. We are not the sum of what others see in us, or think about us.  In fact, most of us are usually much different than how a stranger might view us.  This was quite true in Visible City.  What Nina saw, is not the actual person, but a person who she encapsulated from a distance, from a view out of a window.

The emotional aspect was a major underlying issue, as most of the characters found it difficult to relate to their family members on a deep level.  They also portrayed superficiality when in the presence of others, outside of their familial and friendship realm.  Even within those realms, feelings were not always touched upon.

I did not like all the characters, but that is okay. In reality, do we all like everyone we encounter?  I did like how life, seen through various city windows, was depicted, and how the characters were eventually connected.  Mirvis was masterful in her depictions and her prose.  I felt as if I was given a personal tour of various aspects of New York City and its urban character, from architectural exteriors to individual’s projections of themselves.  It almost felt as if I were looking out of a window into the lives of others. Maybe that was one of Tova Mirvis’ intentions.

This was my second reading of this novel.  I reread it for a book club.

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Red Doors on White Barn

reddoors copy

 

Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls. -Joseph Campbell

If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door. Milton Berle

Go on over to the August Jewish Book Carnival! This month it is being hostedby Yael Shahar at Memory & Redeption. There are great posts in this month’s event!

Medalists arrive back in Israel!

Nazi ‘gold train’ dig in Poland may
finally separate fact from fiction.”

Jewish swimmer, Anthony Ervin, becomes oldest individual swimming Gold Medalist.”

Muslim American Medalist: The America I love is Inclusive.”

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Sunday Scenes: July 3, 2016

turquoise door

I liked the way one could see windows through the window of the door. I also liked the fact that there were other doors, that one could see while looking through the window of the turquoise door.

brown door

The door above gave me a sense of warmth due to the tones. I liked the arched shape to it, and how it was ‘encapsulated’ within the arches.

I took the photo of the doors above while walking on a trail in a local park, recently.

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Elie Wiesel has Died

sky night

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.” Elie Wiesel

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” Elie Wiesel

Elie Wiesel has died. My heart is filled with such sadness. What a loss for humanity.

A”H Rest in Peace, Elie Wiesel.

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Lithuania Holocaust Escape Tunnel

sunset bw

The New York Times published this story. “A team of archaeologists and mapmakers say they have uncovered a forgotten tunnel that 80 Jews dug largely by hand as they tried to escape from a Nazi extermination site in Lithuania about 70 years ago.” Read the rest of the story at this NY Times link.

This article reminds me of Father Patrick Dubois and his extensive research into the Holocaust and genocidal practices. His book, The Holocaust by Bullets: A Priest’s Journey to Uncover the Truth Behind the Murder of 1.5 Million Jews, is extremely compelling and important.

Here is a link to a New York Times article regarding Father Patrick Dubois and his unending endeavors.

Let us always remember the lives of those who came before us.

Shabbat Shalom!

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Filed under Holocaust/Genocide, Jewish History, Judaism, Lorri's Blog, World History, World War II

Sunday Scenes: June 19, 2016

Through Trees

My goodness! I didn’t realize that I have neglected this site for as long as I have.

I have managed to read quite a few books since my last post:

When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi
Houses, by Borislav Pekin
The Book of Blam, by Aleksandar Tisma
The Remains of Love, by Zeruya Shalev
The Baker’s Daughter, by Sarah McCoy
The Wall, by H.G. Adler
The Inn at Lake Devine, by Elinor Lipman
Lilac Girls, by Martha Hall Kelly
Avenue of Spies: A True Story of Terror, Espionage and One American Family’s Heroic Resistance in Nazi-Occupied Paris
The Best Place on Earth: Stories, by Eyelet Tsabari
Lab Girl, by Hope Jahren
Alice & Oliver, by Charles Bock
Ravens in Winter, by Bernd Heinrich
The Book of Speculation, by Erika Swyler
Enchantment, by Orson Scott Card
Country of Red Azaleas, by Domnica Radulescu
When We Were Strangers, by Pamela Schoenewaldt

The photo above was taken on a walk through a local trail.

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