Harriet Segal Susquehanna

ISBN 13: 9780451137975

Susquehanna

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9780451137975: Susquehanna

A sweeping generational saga about an American Jewish family from Eastern Europe, who settle in the Susquehanna River valley of Northeastern Pennsylvania in the late 19th century. The main character is Dr. Arthur Hillman, a dedicated physician, whose commitment to family and profession govern the course of his life. Born at the start of the twentieth century, his story takes him far beyond his birthplace to the wealthy enclaves of Main Line Philadelphia, to the early days of Nazi Germany, to the China-Burma-India theater of World War II, and to peacetime Japan. Susquehanna is a tale of devotion and sacrifice. But most of all, it is a tale of undyng love.

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From the Author:

As a child, I was fascinated by the history of my birthplace, Wilkes-Barre. Situated in the Wyoming Valley of northeastern  Pennsylvania on the banks of the Susquehanna River, it had a tempestuous past. During the Revolutionary War, it was the scene of the infamous Wyoming Massacre. With the discovery of anthracite coal, it became an important center of development and commerce, the seat of coal barons and early railroads. It attracted immigrants from all the European countries and when I was growing up there, it was known as a melting pot in which people of numerous backgrounds and faiths got along well. 
The Susquehanna River played an important role in my life. On Memorial Day, after watching the parade in which my father, a doctor and the Medical Officer of the 109th Field Artillery of the Pennsylvania National Guard, marched to the tune of The Cassons Go Rolling Along, I would run to the river bank to watch the blowing up of a float in the middle of the river. In 1936, and more recnetly, in 1972, there were disastrous floods when the river overflowed its banks and the protective dikes that had been built.  When I was older, at Girl Scount camp near Tunkhannock, I learned to swim in the Susquehanna. I always loved that river, and I somehow knew that one day I would write a book about the river and the place where I was born.

From the Inside Flap:

A river can tell many tales...of New World dreams and Old World traditions; of ambition and idealism; of greed and sacrifice; of forbidden passion and imperishable love.
   To the shores of the Susquehanna in the late nineteenth century swept a wave of immigrants. From Ireland, Italy, Germany, Russia and Eastern Europe they came, to settle the burgeoning mining communities in northeastern Pennsylvania's coal-rich river valley. Of each immigrant family a special story can be told. This is one of those stories.
   The saga begins on a far distant river in the Pale of Settlement in Czarist Russia. From 1877 until 1972 it follows the lives of four generations of the Hillman family and re-creates in rich detail the experience of immigration and assimilation.
   It is about Isaac, who journeyed to America in search of religious freedom. In the New World a hardworking, enterprising greenhorn could prosper. And a lonely young widower once again could find love. It is about Arthur, Isaac's favorite grandchild. Champion of the poor, Dr. Arthur Hillman dedicated himself to practicing medicine among lung-diseased coal miners. A devoted husband and father, he spent a lifetime trying to forget the only woman he has truly loved--and lost.
   It is about the myriad of human dramas that comprise a family's history. The narrative takes us far beyond the Susquehanna river town of Wilkes-Barre--to the upper-class enclaves of Philadelphia, to Vienna in the late 1920s, to World War II India and contemporary Geneva. But it always returns to the valley where the Hillmans have their roots, to the Susquehanna, which bears witness to their struggle to survive, their commitment to succeed, and their quest for happiness.

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Segal, Harriet
Published by Signet (1985)
ISBN 10: 0451137973 ISBN 13: 9780451137975
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Harriet Segal
Published by Signet (1985)
ISBN 10: 0451137973 ISBN 13: 9780451137975
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