The Sound of Our Steps

The Sound of Our Steps In the beginning there was Lucette who is the mother to three children Sammy a gentle giant almost blind but a genius with locks Corinne a flighty beauty who cannot keep a job and the child an a

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  • Title: The Sound of Our Steps
  • Author: Ronit Matalon Institute for Translation of Hebrew Literature
  • ISBN: 9780805091601
  • Page: 496
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In the beginning there was Lucette, who is the mother to three children Sammy, a gentle giant, almost blind, but a genius with locks Corinne, a flighty beauty who cannot keep a job and the child, an afterthought, who strives to make sense of her fractured Egyptian Jewish immigrant family Lucette s children would like a kinder, warmer home, but what they have is a goIn the beginning there was Lucette, who is the mother to three children Sammy, a gentle giant, almost blind, but a genius with locks Corinne, a flighty beauty who cannot keep a job and the child, an afterthought, who strives to make sense of her fractured Egyptian Jewish immigrant family Lucette s children would like a kinder, warmer home, but what they have is a government issued concrete box, out in the thorns and sand on the outskirts of Tel Aviv and their mother, hard worn and hardscrabble, who cleans homes by night and makes school lunches by day Lucette quarrels with everybody, speaks only Arabic and French, is scared only of snakes, and is as likely to lock her children out as to take in a stray dog The child recounts her years in Lucette s house, where Israel s wars do not intrude and hold no interest She puzzles at the mysteries of her home, why her father, a bitter revolutionary, makes only rare appearances And why her mother rebuffs the kind rabbi whose home she cleans in his desire to adopt her Always watching, the child comes to fill the holes with conjecture and story In a masterful accumulation of short, dense scenes, by turns sensual, violent, and darkly humorous, The Sound of Our Steps questions the virtue of a family bound only by necessity, and suggests that displacement may not lead to a better life, but perhaps to art.

    One thought on “The Sound of Our Steps”

    1. "The Sound of Our Steps" doesn't tell a story; it paints a picture. And there lie both its strength and weakness. The picture is drawn in fragmentary, impressionistic vignettes by "the child" who lives with her Egyptian-Jewish immigrant family in a government-provided concrete box ("the shack") on the outskirts of Tel Aviv. The constant fear of attack that plagues modern-day Israel barely registers on the child's consciousness. Her world is circumscribed by her family -- older brother and sister [...]

    2. I found this challenging to read, as it is written in short bits ranging from a paragraph or two to 4-5 pages. The bits are connected to each other in a sort of stream of consciousness way, such that a word or two in one piece connects to the theme of the next one. It's not arranged chronologically at all, and I had to work pretty hard to figure out what was going on in relation to stuff before and after a given section.It's about a Jewish family that emigrates to Israel from Egypt in the early [...]

    3. I received a free copy of this book through Goodread's Giveaways.I hate giving a 1 star rating, especially since this is the author's real life thoughts and feelings, but I wasn't even able to finish the book and I have never had that issue before. Usually I am able to push through and complete a book.Unfortunately I don't know if it was the author's writing style or a translation issue but there were way too many run on sentences and disparate thoughts for me to follow the story. There was a 2 [...]

    4. 3.5/5The Sound of our Steps by Ronit Matalon is filled with beautiful prose which tells the story of a family living outside of Tel Aviv, their struggles as a family and individuals, especially of Lucette and her children, who are doing what they can to get by as husband and father, Maurice is seldom home. It took a bit for me to get into this Israeli story, I do not know if the difficulty lies in the translation or if this is how the story is written, however it was worth the effort, the story [...]

    5. DNF'ed at page 63.I could not get into the story due to the odd narrative style and removed and distant story-telling. It was difficult for me to deduce what was happening and hindered me from engaging in the story. A shame since I was initially interested in the premise.

    6. 4.5 rounded up to 5. My review appears in New York Journal of Books. Read that review first. Additional remarks (including an additional excerpt) that appeared in a different and now defunct publication begin with the next paragraph.Israeli books: Ronit Matalon's autobiographic novel The Sound of Our Steps However politically controversial immigration is, America is a country of immigrants and a land of second chances, so it’s not surprising that immigrant literature is a popular genre. Such s [...]

    7. Ronit Matalon is an acclaimed contemporary Israeli writer and social activist, the daughter of Egyptian-Jewish immigrants, who lives in Tel Aviv. Her latest novel is a version of her childhood memories of living with her single mother in a poor immigrant neighbourhood after her father had abandoned the family. It’s a series of vignettes rather than a sustained narrative, consisting of short chapters loosely connected one to the other, with frequent digressions and interludes, all of which make [...]

    8. Towards the end of Ronit Matalon’s novel, The Sound of Our Steps, Lucette, the mother, says, “Everything’s standing still…slowly eating up your soul, little by little, with a teaspoon.” She spent her time “lying down, getting up , sitting down, standing up, going out to look at the garden in the desolation of everything standing still…between going in and coming out, emptying action and movement of meaning, purpose, and reason…” This accurately and exquisitely sums up how I fel [...]

    9. Excellent book. Loved the realism, the descriptions and the characters and the world as viewed through the eyes of a growing child, not understanding all that was going on around her. The only problem was the I, too, did not understand all that was going on and the dream sequences and more magical sections were lost on me as was the ending. I'm very happy this was a selection of my book club, as maybe I will gain some understanding when we review it together.

    10. Lucette lives with her children in a shack on the outskirts of Tel Aviv. Maurice is an absentee husband and father, which adds to Lucettes turmoil. Lots of struggle and heartache to survive. THANKYOU FIRSTREADS FOR THIS FREE BOOK.

    11. The publisher's blurb refers to "a masterful accumulation of short, dense scenes" but to me if was something else. Have you ever sat next to a drunk friend who wants to tell you the story of his/her life but only succeeds in telling a bunch of disjointed tales that may or may not connect, may or may not be true, or may or may not even make sense? That's this book.

    12. it was beautifully written and had great images, but it was choppy and disjointed and I couldn't get attached to it. I gave it 100 pages. It's a great idea but I couldn't get it.

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