Yesterday I was walking the dog in the morning and I stopped to talk with a neighbor who asked me what I was currently reading and I told her at the moment I’m reading a modern-day mystery thriller. I then asked her what she was reading and she told me she just finished The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish and would I be interested in reading the story? I told her I would be delighted to. She went in her house and brought out the book for me to borrow.
This evening I started reading, The Weight of Ink and I adore the literary medium written! I won’t be getting much sleep tonight. Take a look below at a fine example of her writing style.
Page 9: “And in the silence-the unmistakable silence of an old house-she felt, for just an instant, the old feeling; the impossible ache of standing so close to a piece of history. A feeling like something dropping endlessly inside her- like being in the presence of a long-ago lover who had once known every inch, but now refused to acknowledge her.”
About the book:
An intellectual and emotional jigsaw puzzle of a novel for readers of A. S. Byatt’s Possession and Geraldine Brooks’s People of the Book.
Set in London of the 1660s and of the early twenty-first century, The Weight of Ink is the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect: Ester Velasquez, an emigrant from Amsterdam who is permitted to scribe for a blind rabbi, just before the plague hits the city; and Helen Watt, an ailing historian with a love of Jewish history.
As the novel opens, Helen has been summoned by a former student to view a cache of seventeenth-century Jewish documents newly discovered in his home during a renovation. Enlisting the help of Aaron Levy, an American graduate student as impatient as he is charming, and in a race with another fast-moving team of historians, Helen embarks on one last project: to determine the identity of the documents’ scribe, the elusive “Aleph.”
Electrifying and ambitious, sweeping in scope and intimate in tone, The Weight of Ink is a sophisticated work of historical fiction about women separated by centuries, and the choices and sacrifices they must make in order reconcile the life of the heart and mind.
About the Author:
I often begin writing when something is bothering me. Years ago, I was thinking about Virginia Woolf’s question: what if Shakespeare had had an equally talented sister?
Woolf’s answer: She died without writing a word.
What, I wondered, would it take for a woman of that era, with that kind of capacious intelligence, not to die without writing a word?
For one thing, she’d have to be a genius at breaking rules.
My novel The Weight of Ink reaches back in time to ask the question: what does it take for a woman not to be defeated when everything around her is telling her to sit down and mind her manners? I started writing with two characters in mind, both women who don’t mind their manners: a contemporary historian named Helen Watt and a seventeenth century Inquisition refugee named Ester Velasquez. It’s been a delight working on their story.
The Weight of Ink is my third novel, but I’ve also written two other novels and one novella, plus a few dozen essays and stories. Whether I’m writing fiction or nonfiction, I put words to paper because it’s my way of metabolizing life. To paraphrase Henry James: I don’t really know what I think until I see what I say.
I love the cover, premise and from what I have read so far, the story has inspired me to come up with an art piece for it. More of my thoughts on this beautiful story soon!
Stephanie M. Hopkins