Summary and book reviews of Kaaterskill Falls by Allegra Goodman

Kaaterskill Falls

by Allegra Goodman

Kaaterskill Falls by Allegra Goodman X
Kaaterskill Falls by Allegra Goodman
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Aug 1998, 324 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 1999, 324 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Goodman's deft sense of character brings alive an appealing and engrossing cast, fleshed out by nuances of place and time.

In Kaaterskill Falls, Allegra Goodman, author of The Family Markowitz turns her pen to the intimate details of a close-knit Jewish summer community in the Catskills. Goodman's deft sense of character brings alive an appealing and engrossing cast, fleshed out by nuances of place and time.

The synagogue is crowded with men, and warm despite the November chill outside. When Isaac arrives for services on Friday evening, he sees neighbors and friends all clustered together in the entryway. The Kollel students are coming in from the little chapel where they study. Dressed alike in their rumpled black suits, carrying their great black-bound books, they pass through the crowd into the main sanctuary where the older men are arriving, businessmen coming from downtown, the storekeepers from the neighborhood, the retired grandfathers. Young and old mix together, and their languages mix: English and German, a little Hebrew, a little Yiddish. Isaac does not notice the mixture; he grew up with it, and he understands all the languages equally.

"Did you hear that the Rav is holding his office hours again?"

"No, I didn't know."

"He's holding them on Tuesdays again."

"The same hours?"

"Yes. Of course, he's limiting his visitors, but baruch hashem, he&...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!


The questions, discussion topics, and author biography that follow are intended to enhance your group's reading of Allegra Goodman's Kaaterskill Falls. We hope they will enrich your understanding of this wonderful novel of faith, families, and ancient tradition--a story of passionate love and passionate conflict that confirms Goodman as one of the singular writers of her generation.

It is the summer of 1976. In the beautiful country of upstate New York lies Kaaterskill, a tiny town where Jewish Orthodox summer people and Yankee year-rounders live side by side from June to August. Elizabeth Shulman, mother of five daughters, needs a project of her own outside her cloistered community. Across the street, Andras Melish cannot ...
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

People Magazine
Like the late Nobel laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer, Goodman wrings ineffable strands of passion from the quietest of hopes and disappointments. It is a carefully observed and haunting world.

People Magazine
Like the late Nobel laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer, Goodman wrings ineffable strands of passion from the quietest of hopes and disappointments. It is a carefully observed and haunting world.

The New York Times Book Review.
There are times when one wishes for some passion--some unholy mess or some desperate humor--to erupt from the pages, but the darker impulses are not what interest Goodman. Indeed, she prefers the broad strokes of a panoramic view to the fine shadings of character. Her truest talent is for imposing a shape on the little, everyday disturbances that distract most of her writing peers; she has an almost 19th-century ability to create a sense of linkage, of one existence impinging on the next.

Wall Street Journal
Allegra Goodman is a prodigy. . . .She writes with such winning grace, such deftly evocative intimacy of detail.

Wall Street Journal
Allegra Goodman is a prodigy. . . .She writes with such winning grace, such deftly evocative intimacy of detail.

Reader Reviews

Katerine T.

Great read
Surprised to find that there are no other reviews for this book. I really enjoyed Kaaterskill Falls. I felt that the character development was fantastic- I felt a lot of sympathy for the sisters. I learned a lot about the more conservative ...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Allegra Goodman

If you liked Kaaterskill Falls, try these:

  • Bridge of Sighs jacket

    Bridge of Sighs

    by Richard Russo

    Published 2008

    About this book

    More books by this author

    Bridge of Sighs courses with small-town rhythms and the claims of family. Here is a town, as well as a world, defined by magnificent and nearly devastating contradictions.

  • The First Desire jacket

    The First Desire

    by Nancy Reisman

    Published 2005

    About this book

    Set in Buffalo, New York in the 1930s and '40s, The First Desire is a book of great emotional power that brings to life the weave of love, grief, tradition, and desire that binds a family together.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Prophet
    by Michael Koryta
    Hot diggity! How can you lose by reading a gritty whodunit about football, even if you're not a ...
  • Book Jacket: Dog Flowers
    Dog Flowers
    by Danielle Geller
    In Dog Flowers, Danielle Geller tells us what is wrong with her family: heavy drinking, abandonment,...
  • Book Jacket: The Sea Gate
    The Sea Gate
    by Jane Johnson
    In Jane Johnson's novel, The Sea Gate, set in England, readers are introduced to Becky, a young ...
  • Book Jacket: Stories from Suffragette City
    Stories from Suffragette City
    by M.J. Rose, Fiona Davis
    Our First Impressions readers were fascinated by the historical fiction from a range of authors ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    At the Edge of the Haight
    by Katherine Seligman

    Winner of the 2019 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction.

    Reader Reviews
  • Book Jacket

    The Narrowboat Summer
    by Anne Youngson

    From the author of Meet Me at the Museum, a charming novel of second chances.

    Reader Reviews
Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Moment of Lift
by Melinda Gates
How can we summon a moment of lift for women? Because when you lift up women, you lift up humanity.
Who Said...

Most of us who turn to any subject we love remember some morning or evening hour when...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

T M T C, T M T Stay T S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.