A saga novel of the Simons which takes us in flashback through three generations of German-Jewish emigrants, Miss Osterman's work treats a paradoxical class- which closes ranks from fear, a legacy of strength and the conflicts among the strong. and Meyer Simon come to New York in 1867 and Meyer works himself up from Simon Brothers Department Store, a familial symbol of accomplishment and . The central character is son, Isador, who learns from his mother only contempt for the weak and who consequently rules his family, his sister, his nephews with an iron hand. Isador never marries, whether this is because of over attachment to or because his mother succeeds in destroying an early relationship with a lower class Jewish girl, is never made quite clear. He his nephew Robert because the boy change his last name to that of uncle and for failure to his place in the store. Miss is quite perceptive about the assimilation of certain wealthy and powerful Jews, yet her saga falls to take the shape she because her characters' behavior can be derived from sources over and above their heritage. A fine and analysis of issue, which is partially as a work of fiction.