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The First Desire (Signed First Edition)

Nancy Reisman

174 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0375423087 / ISBN 13: 9780375423086
Published by Pantheon, 2004
New Condition: New Hardcover
From Dan Pope Books (West Hartford, CT, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

New York: Pantheon [2004]. First edition. First printing. Hardbound. NEW, in dust jacket, very fine/very fine in all repects. A pristine unread copy. SIGNED BY AUTHOR on title page. Comes with mylar dust jacket protector. Shipped in well padded box. You cannot find a better copy.[CS,6] 0.0. Bookseller Inventory # boxer6

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The First Desire (Signed First Edition)

Publisher: Pantheon

Publication Date: 2004

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition....

About this title


1929. Buffalo, New York. A beautiful July day, the kind one waits for through the long, cold winters. Sadie Feldstein, née Cohen, looks out her window at the unexpected sight of her brother, Irving. His news is even more unexpected, and unsettling: their elder sister, Goldie, has vanished without a trace.

With Goldie’s disappearance as the catalyst, The First Desire takes us deep into the life of the Cohen
family and an American city, from the Great Depression to the years immediately following World War II. The story of the Cohens is seamlessly told from the various perspectives of siblings Sadie, Jo, Goldie, and Irving—each of whose worlds is upended over the course of the novel, the smooth veneer of their lives giving way to the vulnerabilities and secrets they’ve managed to keep hidden—and through the eyes of Lillian, the beautiful woman their father, Abe, took as a lover as his wife was dying. But while Abe’s affair with Lillian stuns his children, they are even more shocked by his cold anger in the wake of Goldie’s disappearance.

The First Desire is a book of great emotional power that brings to life the weave of love, grief, tradition, and desire that binds a family together, even through the tumultuous times that threaten to tear it apart.


Told both in real-time and through flashbacks, The First Desire follows the Cohen family through several life changes, including the death of their mother, the birth of a child, financial hardships, and eventually World War II. While much of the novel is seen through the eyes of Sadie Cohen Feldstein, the second eldest and seemingly most responsible of the five Cohen siblings, debut novelist Nancy Reisman does an excellent job of getting into the heads and hearts of the remaining characters. For example, when Jo Cohen, the moody, withdrawn, almost masculine sister falls in love with a coworker, her desire is so vivid it seems almost tangible. Celia, the youngest sister who floats in and out of reality, is prone to moments of clarity that completely negate her role as the neediest, most vulnerable sibling. Finally, through Irving, the lone male in the group, Reisman shows the powerful effect that loneliness can have on the relationships that seem to matter most. Yet while each of these characters is revealed to be a juxtaposition of extremes, it is always family that draws them back in eventually. As Goldie says, "he is crossing the snow of the lawn, he is holding out his arms. Her life astonishes her: he is calling her name." --Gisele Toueg

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