Flora's Suitcase by Dalia Rabinovich

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews



Flora's Suitcase marks the auspicious debut of an original new voice in fiction. An exquisitely written tale, Flora's Suitcase is redolent with elements of magical realism and a decidedly fresh look at the traditional family saga, taking the reader on a funny, mysterious journey as one woman carves out her identity in a new land.

Dalia Rabinovich weaves the intricate and mysterious tapestry of David and Flora Grossenberg's lives with skill and imagination. The young Jewish couple emigrate to Colombia shortly after their marriage and soon discover that the clash of cultures--between Colombian and American traditions, and between modern Jews and their conservative Russian emigr relations--as well as the foreign landscape will test their marriage and their family bonds.

After the arrival, Flora desperately wants out of the clutches of David's three older sisters, overbearing matriarchs all, and insists that she and David rent a house of their own. There they discover a curious inhabitant, Bolivariana, a wizened old woman who claims to be the illegitimate daughter of Columbia's national hero, Simon Bolivar. She wanders their house aimlessly, scavenging for food late at night, and displaying her uncanny gift for predicting the future.

Also clamoring for Flora's attention are a growing brood of children, a succession of Wayward maids, and the more unusual male members of the family, including the increasingly erratic Harold, whose passion for mangoes lured the entire family to Columbia in the first place.

Bright with imagination and steeped in rich South American culture, Flora's Suitcase chronicles a journey in a strange and wonderful land, marking the emergence of a promising new literary talent.

"Flora's Suitcase is a magical family saga. It's beautifully written, imaginatively evoked and so touching and funny that any reader will be constantly surprised. What a wonderful first novel! And how nice that I had a small part to play in bringing it to readers."
--Olivia Goldsmith

Before they married, Dave had promised Flora that they would live forever in her hometown of Cincinnatiu. He would make many other promises and break them, but that was the one for which he would always he held accountable. It was to be the dormant root of every argument, rarely hurled as an accusation but always present, implicit. What Dave did not know was that Flora, at her mother's suggestion, had asked him to make a promise that she was sure he could not keep.

"A broken promise goes a long way," Shana advised her daughter.

"What did you ask of papa? Flora inquired.

"I don't remember." Shana smiled mischievously. "But what's important is that he does."
--from Flora's Suitcase


About Dalia Rabinovich

See more books from this Author
Dalia Rabinovich has taught English composition aat Brooklyn College and Borough of Manhattan Community College.
Published August 19, 1998 by Harper. 256 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Flora's Suitcase

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

In one of a series of decisions sprung on the unsuspecting Flora by her new husband, the couple and their first baby find themselves at the outset of the book heading into the Colombian interior to join David’s family, an incestuously close-knit group of brothers and sisters-in-law who are strugg...

| Read Full Review of Flora's Suitcase

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Three more children and a quarter century, later, Flora Grossenberg has been worn down by her manipulative husband, a textile manufacturer, by his venomous family and by Colombia itself, portrayed here as a deeply superstitious, backward country beset by endless civil wars.

| Read Full Review of Flora's Suitcase

Reader Rating for Flora's Suitcase

An aggregated and normalized score based on 7 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review