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On Chestnuts, Peacocks and Tokens from Heaven

Yonat and Alexander Sened
Is the Jew an eternal wanderer? The question isn`t asked outright in this novel, but it seems that the existence of Israel cannot suppress the nomadic spirit of the book`s two protagonists, Abrasha and Bluma-Rosa, whose picaresque tale spans three continents. Their paths cross in Czestochowa, a town in Poland, a few years before World War II when Bluma-Rosa marries and is then widowed by Abrasha`s older brother. Abrasha desires his stunning sister-in-law with chestnut hair and a madonna face. Shortly before his departure for the revered Volshin Yeshiva at the age of 15, he consummates his love. When World War II breaks out, he manages to sneak into the USSR and travels around till he reaches Siberia. Bluma-Rosa flees Poland for France where she is adopted by a count. In return for his kindness, she looks after his son who has tuberculosis.
After the war, Abrasha returns home to Poland to find that his family has been murdered. He then embarks on a career as a passuer, a border-smuggler, and becomes rich. But although he owns a number of castles, he still dreams of building a giant metal sculpture made from canons and shells that will touch the sky. In the meanwhile, he searches for Bluma-Rosa. His search takes him to Paris, where he meets the sculptor Giacometti. Later, he immigrates to pre-state Israel, fights in the War of Independence and is injured in battle. He now lives on a kibbutz in the Negev, but he can`t get used to his new life. He remains faithful to Bluma-Rosa, to Yiddish and his European Jewish past.
Bluma-Rosa, who now calls herself Rose, lives a dull life in Boston. When Abrasha finally tracks her down, after 29 years apart, he brings her to Israel, but their reunion doesn`t go well. The two do not see eye to eye. Bluma-Rosa returns to Boston; Abrasha is left with his dream.


Sened On Chestnuts, Peacocks and Tokens from Heaven
Title On Chestnuts, Peacocks and Tokens from Heaven
Author’s Last Name Sened
Author's First Name Yonat and Alexander
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Hakibbutz Hameuchad
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2004
No. Pages 267 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Al Armonim, Tavasim U-Ptakim Mi-Shamayim
Representation Represented by ITHL

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