where the writers are
DYING UNFINISHED
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LIBRARY JOURNAL
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LIBRARY JOURNAL

LIBRARY JOURNAL December, 2008

Espinosa's new novel portrays Jewish American mother and daughter Eleanor and Rosa over several decades, from the 1940s to the 1980s. As a mother, Eleanor is both fiercely protective and remote. As a daughter, Rosa distances herself from her family as much as possible, first in struggling with mental illness and then with a disastrous marriage to a Chilean writer in Paris. But there is more to each woman than family relationships. Eleanor yearns to be an artist but ends up a frustrated housewife who seeks almost constant sexual gratification; her sexual encounters veer from anonymous lovers to long-term affairs. Rosa, in spite of her early life, is the more rooted; she finds creativity and stability in her writing and, eventually, in her own daughter. Like her character Rosa, Espinosa was born Jewish American and has written on both Jewish and Latina themes. Her other novels include Dark Plums, American Book Award winner Longing (in which Espinosa introduced Rosa), and Incognito: Journey of a Secret Jew. Recommended for larger public libraries