Every so often a writer invents a story whose simplicity cannot disguise for more than a few moments a work of radiant beauty and sustained power. Mrs. Hornstien is such a book.
With a raw lyricism all her own, Fredrica Wagman writes of family, of passing generations, of love and striving, of grief and loss and renewal. Her narrator, Marty, begins with a day burned in her memory, when, as a young woman in love, she meets her future mother-in-law, Mrs. Hornstien. She ends her tale many years later, now a matriarch herself, poised to meet her own son’s future bride.
Within the elegantly drawn arc of this natural succession Wagman gathers with unsparing honesty more than one lifetime’s worth of wisdom about women’s lives and the human experience. And standing stalwartly at the center of this pageant is the unforgettable figure of Mrs. Hornstien—a formidable being whose huge heart is, nonetheless, more than capable of being broken.