Cover Image: The Slaughterman's Daughter

The Slaughterman's Daughter

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Member Reviews

Thank you to Netgalley and Quercus for this e-copy in return for my honest review. I loved this book, beautifully written fairytale. Magical and charming.
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Unfortunately this book isn’t the one for me . 

It seems like a wonderfully detailed story with some vivid characters and a complex story line but I am struggling to get into the story.

The main reason that I’m struggling to get into it is that I have to keep stopping to find out the meaning of words that are not in English . This makes it hard to stay focus on the story itself.

Many thanks to Netgalley, for my copy of this book in return for an honest review
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This is a beautifully written, almost fairy-talish story of two sisters, and I absolutely adored the style of this book. Imaginative, deep and rich - it made me feel I have to read more novels set in Russia at that time, though I doubt if I can find Iczkovits's genius in them.
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Historical fiction is not for me. This is a fine book, but I keep trying historical fiction and realising it isn’t my genre.
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This is such an original, inventive and imaginative novel, a sweeping saga set in late 19th century tsarist Russia, a picaresque tale of Jews and Gentiles. It cries out for a second reading as I am sure I missed some of the deeper meanings and implications. A first reading really only allows the reader to keep up with the complex plot, but there’s a lot going on in the background which merits exploration. The basic plot is fairly straightforward. Sisters Fanny Keismann and Mende Speismann live in the Pale of Settlement. Fanny trained with her father to become a ritual slaughterer, which makes her very handy with a knife, a skill that leads to all sorts of complications later in the novel. Both are married with children, but when Zvi-Meir, Mende’s husband, abandons his family, Fanny is determined to track him down and make him give Mende a divorce so that she can get on with her life. So far so reasonable, but what happens after Fanny abandons her own family to set out on her quest stretches credulity as events spiral out of control. However, the narrative is related with such verve and panache, with black humour peppering the adventures, plus a good dose of social history, that I found myself willingly carried along with it. It’s not only a compelling story but offers a vivid portrait of Jewish life in the Pale, a lost Jewish world in the Russian Empire when anti-Semitism is not just rife but frequently disastrous. An impressive novel indeed, excellently translated form the Hebrew, and a rich and satisfying read.
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This book was overly descriptive and overly long winded. Maybe it was lost in the translation from the original story. The story needed full concentration so not a relaxing read.
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I fell in love with the amazing cover and I found the story fascinating and well written.
It's a great historical fiction that keeps you hooked even if it is sometimes a bit too slow.
The richness of details, the amazing and well researched background, the well thought cast of characters are the elements that made me like this story.
It reminded me of other stories I read set in the East European Jewish community and I appreciated the vivid descriptions and the excellent style of writing.
It's the first book I read by this author and won't surely be the last.
Recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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The writing of this book is so beautiful, I just loved it, it felt a bit longer than it needed to be, but because I loved the writers style so much I forgive it ! It’s a captivating read with humour, imagination, darkness and drama, it also taught me a lot about Jewish culture, a wonderful and beautifully written story 

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
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I liked the idea of this and the writing style was okay for the most part but i felt the story was a bit too long-winded and could have been shorter and had more of an imeadicey to it. This had some good ideas but this was not for me overall.
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My thanks to Quercus Books MacLehose Press for an eARC via NetGalley of ‘The Slaughterman’s Daughter’ by Yaniv Iczkovits in exchange for an honest review. It was originally published in Israel in 2015 and translated from the Hebrew by Orr Scharf.

Its quirky subtitle is ‘The Avenging of Mende Speismann by the Hand of her Sister Fanny’. In the isolated town of Motal in the Pale of Settlement there is shock when Fanny Keismann, a devoted wife and mother, leaves her home in the early hours of the morning and vanishes. We as readers know that she is making the journey to locate her missing brother-in-law, who had run away to Minsk, abandoning Mende and his children to destitution.

She is accompanied by the mysterious ferryman, Zizek Breshov. However, a violent incident on the road brings them to the attention of Colonel Piotr Novak, head of the Russian secret police. Adventures ensue.

This is a complex and unusual work of historical fiction that references Russian society in the late nineteenth century with special attention to the Jewish community, which was restricted to the area designated as the Pale of Settlement. 

It evokes both the joy of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ with the epic sweep of ‘War and Peace’ and is a serious literary work though with elements of wry humour. 

I felt that Yaniv Iczkovits created a vivid portrait of the period and opened up a world that was by necessity self-contained. There are many Yiddish terms used in the narrative, some that I knew and others I had to look up. I found Fanny an incredible character.

While it was a fascinating journey I often felt that its style left me an outsider while reading rather than feeling immersed in its narrative.

It’s a novel that I may revisit at a future date, especially if it is eventually issued in an audiobook edition, as I feel that its rich language would suit that format.

The cover art is incredible and gives a taste of the wonders within.
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Forget ‘War and Peace’ Read this instead! A rollercoaster of an adventure set in Tsarist Russia starring Religious Jews and a mission to track down a missing husband. Huge background detail to the times and religious beliefs and observances of the Jewish people. An immersion in Yiddish and Jewish lifestyle of the time, Set in a land of isolation and mistrust. An absolute delight to read. 

A thousand thanks to #NetGalley for the advance copy which I devoured.
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I was attracted to this book because of the absolutely stunning cover but the story is darker than it suggests. The Slaughterman's Daughter is a historical adventure, set in the late 19th century in the Pale of Settlement (an area of Imperial Russia including Belarus and parts of Poland) where Jews were forced to live. The publishers have described the story as being a cross between Quentin Tarantino and Fiddler on the Roof, and that pretty much sums it up! If you're looking for a book that is a little bit different, this is the read for you.

In the isolated, godforsaken town of Motal husbands go missing on a regular basis (they've usually run off in search of a better life) but never wives and mothers. So when Fanny Keismann - devoted wife, mother of five, and celebrated cheese-maker - leaves her home in the middle of the night, the town is aghast. Rumours regarding her disappearance rapidly circulate, some of which even turn out to be true.

The Slaughterman's Daughter is basically Fanny's attempt to find her missing brother-in-law and persuade (force!) him to come home. As she sets off on her road trip, everything that could go wrong does, unwittingly involving all kinds of innocent (and not so innocent) people, until the highest powers become convinced the country is on the brink of revolution. It is a rollicking story that shows how the simplest actions and purest thoughts can quickly lead to disaster.

There is a serious message running through The Slaughterman's Daughter but there is also humour. I loved the titular character of Fanny, who hacks her way through the story in a very Tarantino way! (There is the occasional scene of mild gore.) The other characters are utterly believable and completely engaging; I even found myself sympathising with the the villains. There are multiple points of view and we learn every character's backstory. As fascinating as these tales-within-a-tale were, they did slow down the pace quite a lot. But if take-you-by-the-throat characters, seat-of-your-pants action, and oodles of authentic atmosphere are your thing, you will definitely love this. Personally, I'd love to see it made into a movie...


Thank you to Yaniv Iczkovits and MacLehose Press (Quercus) for  my copy of this book, which I requested from NetGalley and reviewed voluntarily.
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A sincere thank you to the publisher, author and Netgalley for providing me an ebook copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I enjoyed this story very much and felt like I knew each character personally due to the description of them. I enjoyed the storyline. This is not my usual genre but in this instance I am extremely pleased and grateful for opening up my mind to something totally different. Thanks again.
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Fanny’s brother in law goes missing leaving his family destitute.. Fanny,  mother of five disappears. One might expect a family drama but no, this is an amazing explosive story. 

Set in Russian Jewish life with wonderful insight, great humour, darkness and many surprises.

A new genre for me and I loved it.

Yaniv Iczkovits writes beautifully, the book captivated me.

I am grateful to the publisher and NetGalley for allowing me to read this arc in exchange for an honest review.
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A very imaginative story.  It is set at the end of the nineteenth century in the Pale of Settlement, a Jewish settlement in the former Russian Empire.  This is an epic Russian folk tale about a sister setting out to remedy the situation her sister finds herself in.  A cast of characters are assembled and their adventures take on various strange twists.
The style of writing is very beautiful and gentle with a subtle humour underlying the story.  
Unfortunately I found the pace of the story too slow most of the time.  It became a bit of a chore to read with too many digressions to provide each character's history.  A more concise narrative would have been better.  
Overall it was an usual and quirky story.
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I thought The Slaughterman's Daughter was a very original historical fiction. It's about a world I knew nothing about, Jewish life in the Russian empire in the 19th century. 
Characters were very well drawn out and I loved the touches of humour throughout the narrative.
I really enjoyed the fact that there no stereotypes!
There were some slow paced sections but a very refreshing and interesting read.
Thank you NetGalley for the advanced copy.
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I took on this translated novel because in recent years I have very much enjoyed other books rooted in Judaism and lore. I was not prepared for such an epic undertaking. At times I felt the story meandered a bit too much and I admit that many times I lost interest. In fact I put the book aside entirely and read two more before completing this one. But The Slaughterman's Daughter is truly unique fiction and was well worth the time spent on it.
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The Slaughterman’s Daughter is an impressive work of translated historical fiction that takes place across Poland in 1894. This colourful drama is reminiscent of Russian epics mingled with a good schtickle of dark humour and wit. 

As a longer read, this book required commitment. Yet, despite its great scope and polyvocal narrative, it was by no means difficult to read. The story takes its reader on a journey in which Fanny, a Jewish slaughterman’s daughter, murders with her butcher’s knife in a quest of vengeance. On the way, we meet a multitude of people, from drunken, singing homeless men, to haughty Colonels and members of the Russian secret police. Having finished, I now have a deeper understanding and appreciation for Jewish culture and history that I had very little prior knowledge of.
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This book was an epic story of Jewish people and what they went through in Belarus. 
It had a very big scope, characters and a large span. It was long, but easy to read. I think it was well written, well built. It wasn't boring, or stagnant at any point. 

If you like epic literary fiction stories, this is a good choice. 

Thanks a lot to the publisher and NetGalley for this copy in exchange for an honest review.
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The Slaughterman’s Daughter is one of the only books I’ve ever read which truly merits comparison to War and Peace in its scope and masterful characterisation. This epic historical adventure is told with expertly curated chaos and plenty of dark humour.

I always find longer reads require commitment, and The Slaughterman’s Daughter is no exception. However, the story never dragged – instead, the pages flew by. The patchwork storytelling crackles with life, the voices of each character bringing their world to life with nuance and vivacity. Every time I felt the narrative was going off on a tangent, it turned out to be perfectly weighted – a necessary detour. The meandering structure reminded me of literary greats such as Les Miserables, chaotic but always accessible. It’s an incredibly difficult style to pull off, but Iczkovits has managed it.

The Slaughterman’s Daughter is a wild ride from start to finish, a thoroughly enjoyable epic adventure.

Five stars to the cover too – that’s a real work of art!
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