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BO O K REVIEW S compelled to quit after one year to devote all his time to the business. When he points out to his father the possibility that Heracles and the haughty Myrsini may be bilking the business, Andreas shouts at him, ‘“Shit on your mug! We’re brothers! The same blood runs in our veins! Brothers trust each other! Get out of my sight!”’ (63). As it turns out, this practice of family soli' darity and many other Old World ways, vividly demonstrated, have vanished by the time the novel ends in 1998. The title of the novel emphasizes the passing of the family’s Old World ways. A Greek folk belief has it that when a black bird comes, someone will die. As the novel nears its end and Steve and his wife, Mary, grow old, a black bird appears frequently in the narrative, presaging their demise— and the demise of the Old World values they represent. But a telling episode warns the reader against simple nostalgia. Shortly before her death, Mary sorts an accu­ mulation of family photographs. Feeling guilty for having failed to stay in touch with the other women of the second generation, she invites them to a luncheon, where she presses a share of the photographs upon each. They con­ verse listlessly and receive the photographs without enthusiasm. Mary under­ stands that her intentions have failed, and the reader understands that, as far as its women are concerned, the immigrant values of the family have resulted in bondage. Only Mary has found some semblance of happiness in marriage. The other four have suffocated in maniages arranged without their consent by their parents acting according to Old World custom. Three of them, unwilling to be reminded of their humiliations and joylessness, drop the photographs in the wastecan without looking at them. The fourth, the daughter-in-law of the dictatorial Myrsini, bums the photographs with grim satisfaction. This is an admirable, compelling study of immigrants in the twentiethcentury American West. Its author, whose parents were Greek immigrants to Utah, has drawn her characters and described their environment with an accomplished skill. Her novel demonstrates that the drama of assimilation does not require a frontier setting but goes on at all times in places where immi­ grants are thrust among an overwhelming new culture. For California’s Qold. By JoAnn Levy. Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2000. 268 pages, $24.95. Daughter of Joy: A Novel of Qold Rush California. By JoAnn Levy. New York: Tom Doherty Associates, 1998. 318 pages, $23.95. Reviewed by Lois Ann Goossen Grand Haven, Michigan Many true-life stories of California’s gold rush have been artfully retold in fictionalized memoirs titled For California’s Gold and Daughter ofJoy. Author JoAnn Levy’s extensive research from her book They Saw the Elephant: Women WAL 3 6 .1 SPRING 2 0 0 1 in the California Gold Rush comes to life in the words of Sarah Daniels and Ah Toy. Sarah, a fictionalized composite of many historical figures, and Ah Toy, who was a real woman, tell the many tales that women experienced during the rush for gold in California. For California’s Gold opens as Sarah begins to write her story for a person later identified as her child, a sleeping infant. Sarah’s story is one lived by many women who traveled across the continent from comfortable homes in the East to glorious dreams out West. Sarah’s journey to California is an emotional one as well as a geographical one. Sarah confesses her timid nature and her initial feelings of foreboding in making this trip. She maintains the hope of eventu­ ally returning to her home state of Illinois, and this dream continues to inspire her along the way. Sarah never intends to stay in California; firmly believing that someday she will go back to Illinois, she is able to endure the many hard­ ships she encounters. Sarah’s tale begins in 1849 on her childhood farm, where, with her hus­ band and four young children, she is preparing to go to the goldfields of California. Though unenthused about the journey, or its prosperous goal, she is...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 97-99
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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