The Only Daughter: A Novel (Hardcover)
“An old-fashioned book, free of cynicism, encroaching technology and intricate plotting, but imbued with a heartfelt and optimistic view of humanity—in other words, a book filled with feeling and moral values.”—New York Times Book Review
From the internationally acclaimed, award-winning Israeli author, a stunning novel that brilliantly illuminates a young girl’s crisis of faith and coming-of-age in Italy.
Rachele Luzzato is twelve years old when she learns that her father is gravely ill. While her family plans for her upcoming bat mitzvah, Rachele finds herself cast as the Madonna in her school’s Christmas play. Caught between spiritual poles, struggling to cope with her father’s mortality, Rachele feels as if the threads of her everyday life are unraveling.
A diverse circle of adults is there to guide Rachele as she faces the difficult passing of childhood, including her charismatic Jewish grandfather, her maternal Catholic grandparents, and even an old teacher who believes the young girl might find solace in a nineteenth-century novel. These spiritual tributaries ultimately converge in Rachele’s imagination, creating a fantasy that transcends the microcosm of her daily life with one simple hope: an end to the loneliness felt by an only daughter.
In this wondrous story A. B. Yehoshua paints a warm and subtle portrait of a young girl at the cusp of her journey into adulthood.
About the Author
A. B. YEHOSHUA (1936-2022) was born in Jerusalem to a Sephardi family. Drawing comparisons to William Faulkner and described by Saul Bellow as “one of Israel's world-class writers”, Yehoshua, an ardent humanist and titan of storytelling, distinguished himself from contemporaries with his diverse exploration of Israeli identity. His work, which has been translated into twenty-eight languages, includes two National Jewish Book Award winners (Five Seasons and Mr. Mani) and has received countless honors worldwide, including the International Booker Prize shortlist and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize (Woman in Jerusalem).
STUART SCHOFFMAN, a journalist and translator, is a fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and editor of Havruta: A Journal of Jewish Conversation.
“A wise, masterfully understated work by one of Israel's towering literary figures.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"An old-fashioned book, free of cynicism, encroaching technology and intricate plotting, but imbued with a heartfelt and optimistic view of humanity — in other words, a book filled with feeling and moral values.” — New York Times Book Review
"One of Israel’s world-class writers." — Saul Bellow
"[Yehoshua is] an Israeli Faulkner." — Harold Bloom, The New York Times
“The Only Daughter is an act of gentle love, full of generosity.” — Tuttolibri
“We all need them, brothers and sisters and writers who speak to us as if they were our older brothers (and sisters). A. B.Yehoshua is.” — La Repubblica
“Yehoshua knows how to probe the human soul through characters who peek out from the pages at us all, as if to say, ‘Hey, watch out it’s about you, too.’” — Doppiozero