Picks and Pans Review: Three Daughters
Shoshanna, Rachel and Leah are the Wasserman sisters, contemporary New Yorkers in varying states of contentment and despair. But this novel is less about sisterhood than about what goes into making a father. Leah, for instance, marries an impotent man who cannot bear that he allowed his brother to be the biological father of his children.
Daddy issues and family secrets make for decent reading, but Pogrebin gets sidetracked with endless details on the sisters' lives. The story grinds to a halt with flashbacks to Leah's involvement in the feminist movement (which Pogrebin knows well, having cofounded Ms. magazine). And if you don't know Yiddish, you'd better have a dictionary handy: "Nareshkeit! He'd better stop this foolishness or else." As family sagas go, this one is rich with strife and conflict, but after a while it sounds like so much whining. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25)
BOTTOM LINE: Relatively disappointing