Read trail of miracles by Smadar Herzfeld Aloma Halter Online

trail-of-miracles

Inspired by the evocative and intimate true story of Gittel, a remarkable woman whose faith led her to make an unthinkable sacrifice. The daughter of a Torah scholar in eighteenth-century Ukraine, Gittel has always accepted her place in a family steeped in religion. Married at age twelve to a cold and reclusive rabbi, the young bride gives birth to two sons destined to foInspired by the evocative and intimate true story of Gittel, a remarkable woman whose faith led her to make an unthinkable sacrifice.The daughter of a Torah scholar in eighteenth-century Ukraine, Gittel has always accepted her place in a family steeped in religion. Married at age twelve to a cold and reclusive rabbi, the young bride gives birth to two sons destined to follow their father’s path. Finding very little comfort in family life, Gittel shares her dreams, visions, and a close spiritual understanding with her only confidant: her father-in-law, the Maggid of Mezeritch.When Gittel loses those close to her one by one, she decides to leave her old life behind, including her sons, to set out on a lonesome and perilous journey to Jerusalem. Will she sacrifice everything in pursuit of the dream of her youth?...

Title : trail of miracles
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 32934845
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 107 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

trail of miracles Reviews

  • Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)
    2018-11-04 07:38

    See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary FlitsFor such a short novella (just over a hundred pages), Trail Of Miracles is a surprisingly long read. This is a book to consider and to linger over rather than a fast-paced page-turner. The tale was inspired by a true story and it does feel rooted in truth, but with frequent diversions into dreams and matters of faith so I was often unsure how much of what I reading was Gittel's actual story and how much was stories that she told. Perhaps this is meant to signify faith in religious belief which is the overriding theme of Trail Of Miracles. Gittel's life - and her story - is steeped in the Jewish faith and I am sure I would have got even more out of this book had I known more of the biblical tales and people that are referenced. While my lack of cultural insight didn't negatively impact on my overall understanding, I am sure many nuances passed me by.As a portrayal of aspects of Jewish life historically, this is a beautiful and eye-opening read. The gender chauvinism is shocking to my modern Western sensibilities as are the greedy actions of Gittel's family in effectively selling her to a man they have never met. I was often saddened and angry on her behalf. From a historical fiction perspective I didn't get a particularly strong sense of the eighteenth century or of the Ukraine as a setting. Instead I would say that Trail Of Miracles felt timeless in the sense that its events could have happened within similar communities throughout many eras. I am not sure whether I would consider this a complaint though. Certainly, having partly chosen to read the book in order to discover Ukranian history, I was disappointed in that, but I only really noticed the lack of information in hindsight when thinking back over what I had read in order to compose this review. Herzfeld's scenes are evocatively detailed and the characters strong in an almost fairytale sense. A thoughtful, magical and rewarding novella.

  • Aimee
    2018-11-04 03:26

    This is a hard book to review, because it feels more like listening to someone telling their life story than reading a novel. Gittel narrates the story of her life in what is now Ukraine, from her forced marriage at the age of twelve until her widowhood, when she decided to go to Jerusalem. The narrative jumps about a lot, which can be confusing - one minute she's talking about the birth of her first son, then she compares it to the birth of her second son, then she's back to talking about her first son again. If you're not concentrating, you might have to turn back a few pages to work out what's going on.There are a lot of dream sequences with beautiful imagery drawn from Jewish traditions, but if you're not familiar with some of the references (such as Jacob's ladder or the story of Saul and David) it might be hard to follow. At times it can be quite surreal and difficult to work out whether to believe the narrator or not - especially when it seems her father-in-law can see into her own dreams.Overall, I'm glad I read this because it is quite different to the kinds of books I usually read, and it was a refreshing change.

  • Michelle
    2018-10-30 07:12

    Sometimes writing a review is harder than reading the book and simply talking about the book. This is one of those books that really refuses to be pigeon-holed. At only 107 pages, I had expected to be able to rip through it and bang out a review in one night. Instead it has taken me a good two weeks and I’m still not sure that I’ll be doing a great enough service to this book. It has a strange twisting ability to sneak into your head and cause you to slow down. With many religious and inspirational stories, when a character describes a vision there is almost a 2D filter that falls over it to make it simple and plain to the reader. Author Smadar Herzfeld steps away from that common method. Her descriptions of the visions and the spiritual struggles of main character Gittel reads almost like a fever dream that the reader has been sucked into to experience it along with her. That combined with the forward and back flipping through time and place can leave the reader confused momentarily. This begs the reader to pause and absorb what Herzfeld is saying and perhaps to read it again. As previously stated it is rather short, and it can be read in an evening but to understand the story it may take longer than that. A well written story with a strong female character who puts aside her entire life to do what she feels called to do, Trail of Miracles is well worth the time. *This eBook was provided by NetGalley and AmazonCrossing in exchange for honest feedback*

  • Ilana
    2018-10-31 09:35

    Told in the slow pace of a Hasidic story, Trail of Miracles is the story of Gittel, born in the lands of Ukraine, daughter of a Torah scholar and daughter-in-law of the famous Maggid of Mezeritch. Written as a first person memoir, the story focuses on Gittel's account of a life in shadow, a pioneer of her own kind, married as a 12-year old who decided to follow the dream of her youth and go all by herself to Jerusalem.The Jerusalem she discovered is a faint copy of her dreams but it is the last step of her ladder towards self-discovery and the litmus test of her ability to take over her destiny. Always living in the shadows of men, not encouraged to learn enough because not a boy, she is there all on herself, anonymous, her past left far behind but strong enough to start over and over again. Because this is life, swimming through hardship. The writing is beautiful, the words creating beautiful images, talking in dreams that you need to take a break from the book to decipher. Gittel is sharing her experience from the bottom of her heart and at a great extent it is not easy to see her account as familiar as it resonates with some opinions regarding the woman's role in religious communities. Only the individual example can demonstrate that there is room for balancing roles. My only disappointment is that the story finishes too early, exactly when I was in the perfect mood to discover new stories. Disclaimer: Book offered by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

  • Oreoandlucy
    2018-10-29 03:38

    A more complete review is available on my blog:http://reviewsofbooksonmynightstand.b...This book was very short and an interesting story but it was a bit slow for me. I felt that the story had a lot more potential than was presented. There were simply not enough words for good characters to be built but they were likeable. I liked Gittel and her story. One thing that I liked about this book was that the author did not take a judgmental viewpoint about the cultures that she was writing about. All religions and cultures in the book were treated with respect. I have read a lot of books about the Hasidim and that is not always the case. While there are many practices of their culture that modern Westerns may not understand, such as Gittel's young marriage, one must understand that this was not so uncommon in the community at that time. While the book was much slower than I wished it would have been and was not as developed as I would have liked, I still enjoyed the book. I think it would be a good book for those looking for a cultural read or historical fiction, especially for those interested in Eastern European Jewish culture.Thank you to Netgalley and AmazonCrossing for an advanced copy of this book for review. All opinions are my own.

  • Mai-Anh
    2018-11-05 11:29

    I won a free copy of this book through Goodreads Giveaways.Clearly my views are in the minority. While this is full of beautiful, poetic prose, pretty sentences do not make a story. This is written almost like a diary, and we see glimpses of Gittel's life in no particular order. This makes it difficult to the follow the story. Without the few reminders that this happens during Napoleon's conquest of Europe, I could have forgotten it was so far in the past. Gittel is a very young Ukrainian Jewish girl when she is first given in marriage to a much older suitor, a rabbi. Her father is devout, as are her new husband and his father. This marriage is supposed to be an honor, and even when it produces two sons, it remains loveless and awkward. Gittel forms an easy bond with her father-in-law, but the same feeling is never produced with her husband.This is a very short read, but again, hard to follow because it jumps back and forth in time so often.

  • Debra Oliva
    2018-10-21 06:14

    A lyrical story of the oppression of women in a Jewish community in Russia. At a very young age Gittel is married to an older man who is cold to her although they do have two children. However her relationship with her father-in-law is close and comforting and she finds joy in her sons.After her father-in-law and her husband die, she decides to fulfill a childhood dream and move to Israel.Although I admired her grit in setting out alone for Israel, I wanted to know more.

  • Ursula
    2018-11-10 05:41

    A first-person narrative with a strange dream-like atmosphere where feelings and visions seem at least as important as real events.I didn't always understand exactly what was going on, probably because I'm not used to a life lived according to the will of other people. But I read on, quite fascinated, to the end.The writing is almost poetic with a hallucinogenic feel at times, owing as much to the translator as the author, I imagine.

  • Debra Oliva
    2018-11-13 11:32

    A lyrical story of the oppression of women in a Jewish community in Russia. At a very young age Gittel is married to an older man who is cold to her although they do have two children. However her relationship with her father-in-law is close and comforting and she finds joy in her sons.After her father-in-law and her husband die, she decides to fulfill a childhood dream and move to Israel.Although I admired her grit in setting out alone for Israel, I wanted to know more.

  • Denise
    2018-11-02 09:36

    I won this in a Goodreads giveaway.This is not my normal read, and honestly don't remember even entering the giveaway. As I started reading I wasn't sure I would be able to finish, but finish I did. The author is amazingly talented and made want to continue on.Would I read another book by the Smadar Herzfeld? Probably not. Though I enjoyed her writing, this is definitely not my normal genre.

  • Jeanette
    2018-11-03 09:15

    It is not often that i am stumped for words when reviewing a book, but i am on this occasion. I stumbled over how to pronounce some of the names and places, which did take away some of the enjoyment. It is very different to what i am used to reading and takes time to get used to the style of writing. I'm sure there are some who will enjoy the lyrical style of writing, but unfortunately not for me. I received an electronic copy of this book and his is my honest review.

  • Theresa Wade
    2018-11-13 10:37

    After reading this story, I agree with several of the other reviewers that it is difficult to provide feedback on it. The first 2 sections were a little hard for me to focus and get into the story. The author used a lyrical or biblical style of writing. There were a few times where I wish more information or explanation was provided on the religious terms or traditions that were mentioned.

  • Barbara
    2018-10-27 03:40

    Trail of MiraclesLyrical writing, very dreamlike and magical. I wish the characters and the storyline had been better developed. I felt like I had to fill in the gaps and use my imagination to make sense of the storyline. I won this book via a Goodreads giveaway and I am very glad I had the good fortune to win this book.

  • Cindy
    2018-10-17 11:12

    Interesting, profound, and confusingI received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.I'm still not sure what to make of it. It's an interesting story and I enjoyed reading it. It's very spiritual in tone, but there doesn't seem to be a clear message to it and much of it seems confusing to me. It definitely leaves you thinking!

  • Kent Dallmeyer
    2018-10-18 09:28

    Great!

  • Ange
    2018-10-31 09:19

    Food for thought, delivered in a meandering and disjointed method.

  • Annette
    2018-10-29 04:23

    This short story/memoir is set in 18th century Ukraine. As the story starts, it takes some time (15% out of 107 pages) to reveal its direction. Once 12 year old Grittel gets matched with a rabbi, her journey from her house to his takes next 10% of the book. She finds solace in her father-in-law and he tells her to be patient. Meanwhile, she immerses herself in studies and imagines her dream trip to Jerusalem and “walking beside Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, our holy forefathers, and their wives and children.” She has two sons who devote themselves to studying Torah. When her husband dies, she makes a decision to follow her dream to avoid another marriage.The story is not well-developed. It is very flat, missing feelings. The main character is not good about expressing her feelings. No connection with main or any character. We hardly get to know her sons. Her relationship with her father-in-law is just a mention. What is worth developing in this story is all too brief. There is no sense of time besides mentioning that it’s during the time of Napoleon and Turks/Ottomans ruling over Constantinople/Istanbul. There is no sense of place besides the author mentioning it in the description of the story and then in the story mentioning of Grittel moving north to her [email protected]: Best Historical Fiction

  • Teresa
    2018-10-26 03:11

    Very well written