Review: January 28, 2018
My original interest was piqued in this book since I love historical fiction. I haven’t read too many novels focusing on immigrants in the 1900s and the synopsis intrigued me.
The novel is set in the early 1900s on the Lower East Side of New York. The main character, Leah, is a Jewish woman who has moved to New York from Russia for a better life with new opportunities in America as most people did at that time. While she is glad for her family’s new freedom she suffers to make ends meet by working in harsh conditions.
The book is written in multiple povs giving readers different views of how immigrants felt, what they saw, and the jobs that they worked on a daily basis. There was great attention to detail, making story feel realistic. I felt that I could get a good sense of the era. I also could feel the high emotions running through these people’s minds. How would they put food on the table and provide for their family? Sweatshop bosses and greedy businessman took advantage of Leah’s family due to their naivete and lack of English skills. It was so unfair and it made me angry to know that these hard-working, kind-hearted people were being taken advantage of.
Magrid is a wonderful storyteller and pulls the reader into the story. the book is very engaging, but at times it’s also hard to read due to the harsh realities of sweat shop workers that are described in the book. Seeing Leah and her family struggle to make ends meet was heartbreaking.
Where Do I Go? is such a short book at just under 200 pages, but it still packs a powerful punch. The book makes you appreciate what you have in life and not to take it for granted. It also illustrated just how far labor laws have come since those days. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I felt the narrative was strong and I was invested in the character’s stories.