The War Of The Rosens
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The War of the Rosens, set in 1965, is about an eccentric Jewish family in the Bronx in which the sibling rivalry between two young sisters—one of whom is seriously ill—reaches a danger point, forcing each family member to face the limitations and complexities of love and faith.
and staunch atheist, is Leo’s desire that she grow up to become a writer, instead of the owner of a candy store in the Northwest Bronx, on the other side of the borough from the Projects. At too young an age, he’d been forced to earn a living, to provide for a wife and family. With his strong, left-wing political convictions, and the “way with words” his high school English teachers had praised, he could have been—should have been—another John Steinbeck, speaking out for the common man, exposing
she hunches her shoulders and begins taking rapid steps that are more like hops or jumps. “Okay, Daddy,” she says, now tugging fiercely at her shoulder-length hair until it comes forward over the same ear she’d just tucked it behind. “Okay.” “Good,” he answers as evenly as he can, detecting slight rebelliousness in her repetition of Okay, but he deliberately relaxes his muscles, once again trying to let go of his sudden anger, because even he, a man proud of his erratic and volatile temper,
table, or loudmouthed Aaron Ludwig, who clumsily performs magic tricks that any six-year-old boy can do better, and his smug wife, Judith, and her floppy, unappealing bosoms, the size of a small country. Right now, all Leo sees is a huddled group of nameless, faceless men and women who, frightened of pain, death, and sorrow—as are we all—foolishly and desperately turn to the supernatural, wrong-headedly calling their fears “faith,” despite all the empirical evidence to the contrary, too weak to
baggy grey pants and a white shirt that’s buttoned wrong, so that a sliver of his washboard-flat stomach peeks through, but his toast-colored eyes are so warm and his smile so genuine that Emma finds him handsome. Not Tony-Curtis-movie-star handsome like her father, but handsome in a quiet, less obvious way. He looks as if he dances and sings beautifully, despite spending all day among other people’s garbage. He is surely a “man of the people,” and she doesn’t understand why her parents mock him.
and Bonita. She wants them to see her as tough and authoritarian, a younger, female version of her father. Her shoulder blades ache. Startled, Marvin and Bonita jump apart. Marvin’s plump cheeks turn red. His broad forehead glistens with rain, and his hair is plastered to his skull. Bonita touches her neck. “Hey,” Emma repeats, not as loudly or sternly. She coughs. Her voice curls way back in her throat, but only for an instant. “You two shouldn’t be kissing!” “Are you talking to me?” Bonita