Family Secrets PDF

by Rona Jaffe c 1974: Sadly, Ms Jaffe died of pancreatic cancer in 2005 whilst in London. I loved her writing and devoured her books. This book in particular, I believe, was semi based (with artistic license, of course) on her own family. Three generations of a Jewish-American dynasty. An extract from Arthur Schwartz's moving testimony to Ms Jaffe says it far better than I ever could "Her grandfather was Moses Ginsberg, who was the Donald Trump of his day. In the 1920s, Ginsberg built, in Brooklyn and Queens, housing for immigrants on the Lower East Side who were moving up the socio-economic ladder. He was one of the builders who gave Brooklyn more housing starts than any other municipality in the mid 1920s. He also built hotels. Rona always liked to say that her mother named the Carlyle, because she was an English major in college, and her uneducated aunt named the Beverly, who just liked the name. After having lost his fortune, Moses Ginsberg reinvented himself as a ship builder and regained the fortune in World War II. He was the first Jew to live in very "restricted" Greenwich, Connecticut, where Rona spent weekends and summers on the family compound. She was born in Brooklyn, in the apartment building next to Union Temple on Eastern Parkway, but she grew up on the Upper East Side, where she lived until the end. The whole Ginsberg story is in "Family Secrets," a real page turner, as are all her other novels. More than merely amusing soap-operatic tales of women's lives, I always felt Rona's books were what the academics call "novels of manners." She captured with telling detail the popular culture of the times in which her novels were taking place, and which she lived through."

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