Two sisters, lost youth, and youthful obsessions; organized by day as the family sits shiva, Evening unfolds the paradoxes of love, ambition, siblings, and the way the past continues to inflect the present, sometimes against our will.
In her thirties, Eve is summoned home by her distraught family to mourn the premature death of her sister, Tam, a return that becomes an unexpected encounter with the past. Eve bears the burden of a secret: Two weeks before Tam died, Eve and Tam argued so vehemently that they did not speak again. Her sister was famous, acclaimed for her career as a TV journalist and her devoted marriage. But Tam, too, had a secret, revealed the day after the funeral, one that inverts the story Eve has told herself since their childhood. In the aftermath, Eve is forced to revise her version of her fractured family, her sister's accomplishments and vaunted marriage, and her own impeded ambition in work and love.
Day by day as the family sits shiva, the stories unfold, illuminating the past to shape the present. Evening explores the dissonant love between sisters, the body in longing, the pride we take in sustaining our illusions, and the redemption that is possible only when they are dispelled.
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About the Author
Praise for Evening
"Written in sensuous yet clear-eyed prose, Evening is a novel that adroitly touches on everything we've ever wanted to know about the inner lives of women, from how they love to how they pitch their tents in the professional world. In her portrait of three generations of a family, as seen through the eyes of Eve, her endearingly conflicted yet wise narrator, Nessa Rapoport has given us a story rich in unexpected disclosures and impenetrable mysteries. Intimate, funny, and thoughtful, Evening is a novel that draws the reader in bit by bit until you are totally under its spell." --Daphne Merkin, author of 22 Minutes of Unconditional Love
"Evening is a book to read many times: First for the gripping story of two sisters forever entwined by love and competition, then for the lyrical images and lush scenes that shape the narrative, and above all for the sheer joy of reading a beautiful work." --Francine Klagsbrun, author of Lioness: Golda Meir and the Nation of Israel
"Evening is a masterpiece . . . [A] lusty, funny, grand book . . . My shabby words do not even begin to convey how brilliant this book is." --E. Jean Carroll, author of What Do We Need Men For?: A Modest Proposal
Praise for House on the River
"A poetic account of a houseboat trip with [Rapoport's] mother and children, and a meditation on aging and family bonds." --MORE Magazine
"We see an imaginary hand reach out from Rapoport's talent to try to grab a feeling that shimmers . . ." --Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Rapoport's poetic ruminations reverberate with a nostalgic, wistful tone, always evocative and often poignant." --Publishers Weekly
"Nessa Rapoport writes like a poet, muses like a philosopher, and loves like the mother (and daughter and granddaughter) that she is. House on the River is about family but also much more. It is a startlingly original work as intricate as a jewel and as vast as a library full of your favorite books." --Stephen J. Dubner, author of Turbulent Souls and Confessions of a Hero-Worshiper
"I have never such a luminous meditation on a private journey. Nessa Rapoport writes about her family in spare, vibrant, poetic prose. I am moved by the layers of meaning as they weave in and out like fine music. This is memoir as prayer." --Elizabeth Swados, composer and playwright of Runaways and Alice in Concert
"Nessa Rapoport's beautiful book is about everything important: the enchantment of childhood, the passion of adolescence, the longing to return to a world one dreamed of escaping, the way the physical realm passes into the imaginary realm, and the way our dreams become incarnate in the new families we make. I can't imagine a lovelier figure for all this than a houseboat loaded with children, parents, siblings, dreams of the past, and hope for the future." --Jonathan Rosen, author of Eve's Apple and The Talmud and the Internet
Praise for A Woman's Book of Grieving
" A work of redemptive passion, this is highly recommended for all libraries." --Library Journal
"Rapoport's lyrical reflections, poetry, lamentations, and thoughtful reminiscences are highly charged, each word so perfectly chosen, each emotion so powerfully drawn." --Theresa Ducato, Booklist
"Finely articulated message of renewal and healing." --Publishers Weekly
Praise for Preparing for Sabbath
"Preparing for Sabbath is a skillfully, even lovingly rendered account of a young woman's awakening into the life of the flesh and--more singularly--the life of the spirit. It is an impassioned book." --Daphne Merkin, author of This Close to Happy