Notes on Part 3 of "The Manor"

  1. Nothing goes right for Calman; his kid is a brat, Clara treats him like shit. Finally he packs up and leaves and heads off to live in piety with Jochanan.
  2. Clara hooks up with Lipkin, one of Ezriel’s buddies, and gets pregnant by him. He wants nothing to do with Clara. Her father upbraids her, but there’s nothing he can do; Calman signed over his business affairs to his son-in-law Joel.
  3. Chapter 3 features lots of young people in conversation about the future, politics and religion. Ezriel is the focal point–strange how most of the Jacoby daughters are now minor characters compared to their husbands, but still they loom large, especially Miraim who remains outcast.
  4. Singer’s good with the shift in perspective of the young. The prose is more lively and deals with harsh matters harshly, not the calm tones of Calman when he was on the upswing.
  5. 50 pages left

Notes on Part 2 of "The Manor"

  1. Calman’s wife Zelda dies, his daughters have all moved out and on
  2. Clara, daughter of one of Calman’s competitors, makes a flirty play for Calman.
  3. Miriam’s eloping with Lucian shames Calman, the town starts gossiping about him.
  4. Felicia, the Count’s daughter, marries a doctor
  5. Calman and Clara marry in a weird ceremony in Warsaw
  6. big hubub when the rabbi dies; Jochanan gets the gig after playing that he didn’t want it.
  7. Calman’s blown away by his new wife’s freewheeling nature, that she dances with other men, that she’s about as pious as a prostitute.

Notes on Part One of "The Manor"

  1. a multi-character two-family saga, principally that of Calman Jacoby and his 4 daughters
  2. 1863 Poland, a Polish uprising against Russia has been crushed.
  3. Jews now admitted into cities; Calman takes over lease of a manor that belonged to the Count
  4. The Count was sent to Siberia; his son was one of the failed revolutionaries, now in hiding
  5. Miriam is best-realized daughter; falls in love with the Count’s son and elopes to Paris
  6. Other daughters marry Jews; Ezriel gets enlightenment bug, likes secular books, goes to Warsaw to study
  7. lots of good description of nature and business and celebrations. And food
  8. Lots of silly jokes, good with minor details of minor characters (drivers, cooks, maids)
  9. a reader is always aware of non-Jews discussing/observing Jews. Not heavy-handed, more matter-of-fact