The First Desire
Reisman eloquently draws the reader into this touching saga, which draws upon the deepest emotional aspects of a family’s life. She delivers a beautifully written story, based on the fictional Cohen family, that will pull at your most sensitive heartstrings. Her characters all “desire” a similar quest – to disappear and blend into the fabric of the surrounding world. We observe the lives of these individuals and their pursuit of varying modes of invisibility: physical, emotional, mental, and social. Each chapter highlights the perspectives of a particular family member (including the father’s mistress) and provides their personal feelings, their comings and goings (often many), and their points of view pertaining to the other family members. The author profoundly brings you so close to the characters’ feelings and the tensions they experience that you almost feel like you are right there with them.
This story spans over two decades of the early twentieth century (1929-1950) and is set in Buffalo, New York. While some historical events, like the Depression and World War II, are included in the book, the author’s main focus is in exploring the inner emotional voices of the characters.