A popular, predictable, self-perpetuating novel full of the Everlasting Light which is snuffed out early in the marriage of Katie (from England in the '30s via Poland) to David, born Rezninetsky, who quickly shortens it to Reid--always a loner in that ""ghetto without fences"" on New York's Lower East Side and determined to leave it behind. They have one son, Mark, who spends most of his childhood and adolescence here trying to win his father's attention while Katie waits quietly in the incompatible background of their marriage -- hoping for David to change. He doesn't, but he becomes inordinately rich; almost hates Katie as a reminder of his Jewishness; has an affair with the clever, assured Maggie Kent who finally gets tired of his standing order of roses with nothing more tangible. At the end Mark is ready to declare himself -- as a Jew. Not as polemical as it might sound -- expansively sentimental in fact, but it slides down as easily as that double egg cream.