Away by Amy Bloom
Bloom tells the tale of a woman who makes her way in America as a young immigrant from Russia. Bloom’s descriptions are lush and her recreation of the historical time period in America is accurate and realistic. Her main character’s past is one of complete loss. She lost her family to pogroms in Russia. It is because of the devastation she already suffered even before coming to America that she is able to embrace, however painful they seem, additional experiences of arduous self-sacrifice in America. She makes her way through bravely seeking out opportunities to work with the upper classes in America all while seeking out companionship in true friends she meets along the way. She moves from the east coast all the way out to Washington state, befriending a colorful cast of characters who are, themselves, simply trying to make it in the poverty-stricken lives they are eeking out in the underbelly of America’s turn of the century cities.