The Tiger’s Wife meets A History of Love in this inventive, lushly imagined debut novel that explores the intersections of family secrets, Jewish myths, the legacy of war and history, and the bonds between sisters.
When Eli Burke dies, he leaves behind a mysterious notebook full of stories about a magical figure named The White Rebbe, a miracle worker in league with the enigmatic Angel of Losses, protector of things gone astray, and guardian of the lost letter of the alphabet, which completes the secret name of God.
When his granddaughter, Marjorie, discovers Eli’s notebook, everything she thought she knew about her grandfather—and her family—comes undone. To find the truth about Eli’s origins and unlock the secrets he kept, she embarks on an odyssey that takes her deep into the past, from 18th century Europe to Nazi-occupied Lithuania, and back to the present, to New York City and her estranged sister Holly, whom she must save from the consequences of Eli’s past.
Interweaving history, theology, and both real and imagined Jewish folktales, The Angel of Losses is a family story of what lasts, and of what we can—and cannot—escape.
“Stephanie Feldman’s debut novel, The Angel of Losses, is haunting. Even more gripping than the real and imagined folktales that Feldman weaves into the book, however, is her exploration of sisterly rifts and bonds and family secrets shrouded by time.”
“In her spellbinding debut novel, Stephanie Feldman tells an epic tale of mystery, discovery, and familial love…Feldman’s debut novel is moving, mature, and deeply original.”
“Stephanie Feldman writes with tremendous warmth, tenderness and insight, and The Angel of Losses is a smart and beautiful novel that is all at once a literary thriller, a multigenerational family saga and a stunning exploration of Jewish mysticism. I loved this book.”
“Feldman mixes legend, mystery, and history to create an intricate story that bridges yesterday and today.”
“Feldman’s debut novel is an unusual combination of literary thriller, family drama, and Jewish mysticism . . . Fans of Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian or the works of Lev Grossman will find something here in a similar vein, but with a little quieter pacing and a little more spirituality.”
“This impressive debut from Feldman is a page-turner that celebrates sisterly love.”
“Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman’s debut novel...the vivid, imaginative unraveling makes the investigative approach to reading this tale worthwhile.”
“Figures from Jewish mysticism and mythology, a Russian grandfather’s legacy and the fate of a newborn child entwine in [this] inventive debut. With its wheeling stars, magical rabbi, disgraced angels, black dogs and European hinterland, Feldman’s novel . . .has the flavor of Chagall’s visionary art.”
“This book was amazing. The protagonist, a grad student in literature, uncovers a story scribbled down by her grandfather, and everything starts to unravel. Jewish folklore. Family secrets. Hidden identities. Hidden notebooks. Bitter estrangements. It’s beautifully constructed and just plain beautiful. Mark your calendars now, people. Mark them now. ”
“Lucid, tender and masterfully portrayed, The Angel of Losses is an intergenerational story of perseverance and love in a changing world. Rich with Jewish lore and history, there is magic at play here in more than one sense. A must-read.”
“Stephanie Feldman is one of the smartest and most original young writers at work today...With a deft understanding of the irreducibility of human relationships, Feldman leads us through love and loss and back to love again. Watch out for her. She is here to stay.”
“This imaginative first novel leads you on a journey of fantastic tales, stormy family ties and a tragic discovery of redemption that will break your heart.”
“Feldman’s prose is intelligent, engaging, and at times figurative... a versatile virtuosity impressive for a debut work.”
“Feldman is an ambitious writer who conjures up instead a deeply moving modern-day fable that far transcends the boundaries of its location and time.”
“The Angel of Losses is an ambitious work by a brilliant new author.
“It’s beautifully constructed and just plain beautiful.”