“In this compassionate family saga spanning generations and continents, Celia, an aging sophisticated New Yorker, sets out into the wilderness of British Columbia to retrieve her free-spirited daughter Sharon, who abandoned a privileged city life for a hut in the bush. With vivid imagery, Freedman brings the setting alive. The author reveals wisdom and sensitivity in capturing the contrasting worlds of Celia and Sharon as the two bond together and are enriched by the reunion...This is a rich and powerful work, lyrical, contemplative and polished.”
Lily Poritz Miller, author
In a Pale Blue Light and The Newcomers
“For me, Leora Freedman's wonderful new book is a vivid and magical time capsule from an era and a place which are extremely dear to me—the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where my grandmother lived for much of the twentieth century. With artistic skill, Freedman manages to bring people like my grandmother and the society she inhabited back to life.” Chana Jenny Weisberg, author and blogger--www.jewishMOM.com
Expecting Miracles and One Baby Step at a Time
“The Daughter Who Got Away is an engrossing and accessible novel. Set in greatly varied environments and time frames, Leora Freedman’s novel captures intergenerational ethos through the prism of family relationships and diverse cultural experience. A novel of ideas, The Daughter Who Got Away reflects the complexities of Jewish existence of our time in multi-layered stories and engaging characters. It is a work that stays with the reader and deserves a wide readership.”
Frieda Forman, editor and translator,
The Exile Book of Yiddish Women Writers
Found Treasures: Stories by Yiddish Women Writers
“In this warm, insightful, and often funny novel, Leora Freedman plumbs the mystery of how—and to what extent—we can love one another across differences of culture, belief, affiliation, and even temperament. And in Celia and Sharon Rosenbloom she has created two women who show us that it’s never too late for growth, change, and mutual understanding.”
Susan Olding, author,
Pathologies: A Life in Essays
“Leora Freedman paints a colorful collage of people, place and time: including the younger and older characters, the urban and wilderness settings, and the present and past generations. The Jewish flavor and nostalgia for Yiddishkeit are woven throughout the novel The Daughter Who got Away. Freedman demonstrates beautifully in this multilayered story that universal human themes such as aging and human connection are indeed shared by all people; thus our personal stories are linked to our collective history.”
Liz Pearl, editor, Living Legacies, PK Press
“This is a novel steeped in the details and nuances of life in Jewish communities, whether in the rural expanses of British Columbia or among the urban enclaves of Manhattan. It is bustling with scenes and conversations full of insight and generosity, holding up a mirror to the attempts we all make at forging connections between family members across the generations, even as we take our own deepest measure.”
Linda Rui Feng, author,
City of Marvel and Transformation: Chang'an and Narratives of Experience in Tang Dynasty China
“Leora Freedman's novel The Daughter Who Got Away is a touching story of a mother and daughter who each undergo a spiritual transformation while coming to terms with their underlying differences. Set in two polar opposite Jewish communities (Upper West Side Manhattan and rural British Columbia), Freedman's novel explores the tension between assimilation and religious renewal. Populated with a diverse array of characters, the novel offers a glimpse into the ways in which Jewish life can flourish in disparate settings.”
Sharon Hart-Green, author
Bridging the Divide: The Selected Poems of Hava Pinhas-Cohen
“The marvel of Leora Freedman’s splendid novel The Daughter Who Got Away is that the story gets so deeply inside both Celia, a widowed Jewish Manhattan mother, and Sharon, her wilderness-loving daughter. The rich voices of both the older and the younger woman fill a whole continent with the texture of their relationship. They evolve to a fascinating balance when the New Yorker comes to her daughter’s outpost in British Columbia. Whether in a solitary Canadian cabin or a huge Central Park West apartment, whether with a sexy shepherd single Dad and his ethereal daughter or a rabbi or the ghost of a deceased husband, a constellation of relationships unfolds—all in the midst of questions of Jewish life and how—and where—to live it. Misunderstandings abound, but this novel, exquisitely attuned to nature and to human nature, is about understanding. Freedman writes for mothers and daughters everywhere.”
Molly Peacock, author of The Paper Garden
“Freedman is as skilled at capturing the nuances of religious practice as she is at sketching the wild and beautiful Canadian landscape. Though the novel details Israeli and New York locales, Freedman’s writing shines most when she’s honoring the setting where no one would expect to encounter complex discussions related to Jewish identity. Themes of change and continuity, acceptance and rejection are all handled with elegance. The Daughter Who Got Away is a moving and provocative encounter with various modes of religious being.”
In The Daughter Who Got Away, the author skillfully takes us on a compelling journey of self-discovery and as the story unfolds, both mother and daughter evolve and their once estranged relationship emerges strengthened and healed.
—Edmonton Jewish News
Contemporary Jewish Books in honor of Jewish American Heritage Month
Parachuting by Leora Freedman
Sixteen-year-old Zoe Diamond feels bored to death in sleepy, suburban 1973 Connecticut and uninterested in being Jewish until she comes in contact with a young Israeli teacher, Rivka Levi, who provokes her to make a difference like the tragic heroine Hannah Senesh.
.... © Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage 2012
Freedman, who grew up in Connecticut and lives in Toronto, takes on difficult issues here, and respects her readers enough not to offer pat solutions. Zoe is a nuanced character whose inner contradictions and conflicts consistently ring true.
......Emily Donaldson Quill and Quire
This multi-layered coming of age story strongly portrays universal issues of growing up and the difficult choices that teens of all cultures make as they explore their sexual orientation and grapple with peer pressure. Author Leora Freedman earnestly addresses these issues and does not shy away from the truth...
....Jewish Book World Fall 2011
The novel deals with big questions and is open-ended, making it suitable for discussions in a classroom or book club setting…. Parachuting will have appeal for many female young adult readers who will relate to and identify with one of the three main female characters.
......Ann Ketcheson CM Magazine © Manitoba Library Association
The complexity of this story unravels to a poignant climax with a page-turning conclusion that will leave you wanting more. The author...illuminates the realistic issues young adults dealt with forty years ago that unfortunately still prevail today.
....VOYA Voice of Youth Advocates
It was refreshing to read a young adult novel that deals with the important themes of queerness and trauma. Freedman treats her readers with respect, wrestling with the true challenges of being a teenager…..
.....Lesley Kartali Elevate Difference
Parachuting is an intimate look at the increasingly complex lives of two suburban American teen girls. Through Leora Freedman's pragmatic description of the characters' everyday thoughts, the reader almost forgets that this young adult novel is set over three decades ago...
....Tristalyn Russell Shameless Reviews Spring 2011
...Zoe does not understand her feelings for her Hebrew high school teacher, Rivka Lev, who elicits irritation and fascination at the same time. As she reads a biography of Hannah Senesh, she wonders how she can make a difference in the world...The coming of age aspect of this book is interesting, and Zoe's character is well developed.
....Kathe Pinchuck Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews September/October 2011