By Amy Bloom
This is the story of Lillian Leyb, a Russian immigrant making her way in a new land, traveling through America in the mid-1920s. Her daughter was taken away from her during a pogrom in Russia, and she feels this unbelievable mother's pull to search for her child that keeps her going—literally—through woods and snow and over mountains. From minute one, you root for Lillian's success because she's this plucky heroine. I felt as if I were on the journey with her, so there were a couple of moments when I would just want to throw the book across the room and yell, "Amy Bloom, if you make Lillian suffer anymore, I am going to kill you!" This is a sweeping story of someone new to America who runs into the best and worst of people. The kindness—and the harshness—Lillian finds along the way represents, I think, the real experience of our country.