A TIME TO LOVE by Beryl Kingston


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For the seemingly bottomless appetite for Jewish family sagas, more pottage, this time imported from England. David Cheifitz, son of a Polish tailor who emigrates to London around 1870, struggles to make a life for his Jewish family in England's worst of times. The Cheifitzes see their only son educated, his talent for drawing nourished at London Technical College. While at school in Whitechapel, David has his prized piece of prune cake stolen by an urchin known as Smelly Ellie, who is even more destitute than London's immigrant Jews. Ellie fights to free herself from an abusive father, wins a position at Hopkins and Peggs fabric store, remakes herself into a proper young miss, swearing all the while never to marry--""lt's a mug's game,"" her mother advises. But then she remeets David, now sketching for Essex magazine, and it's love at second sight--though Ellen has a hard time admitting who she once was, and David's mother cuts him off when he marries outside the faith. They have three children and a blissful married life, until David catches Ellen in a lie (told to keep his widowed mother from moving in). Angered and confused, David joins the army fighting in the trenches of WW I. Back home, Ellen and Mama Cheifitz reconcile, so when he comes marching home at last, shell-shocked but otherwise intact, it's to find his home truly his castle, and his war drawings selling like hotcakes. A nicely unromanticized version of the same old story, with cozy but littler-than-life characters.

Pub Date: Oct. 17th, 1988
Publisher: St. Martin's