Tomor­row There Will Be Apricots

  • Review
By – March 21, 2013

What makes a fam­i­ly? Where do we find our sus­te­nance? Jes­si­ca Sof­fer exam­ines the often debat­ed ques­tions with art­ful sto­ry­telling. She calls on all of our sens­es to con­sid­er the age old issue of nature vs. nur­ture. But food, laden with his­to­ry and cul­ture, the leg­endary path to the heart, is the medi­um. Mix in a very needy cast of char­ac­ters and the recipe for a good tale is perfected.

Enter Lor­ca, a trou­bled teen; her sin­gle mom, a chef, angry and inat­ten­tive; Vic­to­ria and Joseph, Iraqi Jews, deter­mined immi­grants with a long-kept painful secret; an impos­ing neigh­bor, and a sen­si­tive, car­ing young man. All share an intense yearn­ing for love, accep­tance, and for­give­ness. While it is pre­dictable they would become con­nect­ed, liv­ing in the melt­ing pot of the world, just a few Man­hat­tan sub­way stops apart, the plot nev­er suc­cumbs into the most obvi­ous small world sto­ry of the century!

Instead, we are wit­ness to seri­ous and poignant back sto­ries. At the cen­ter is Lor­ca, a self-muti­la­tor, iron­i­cal­ly named for poet Gar­cia Lor­ca, whose themes addressed love and tragedy. We bleed with her through every cut and self-inflict­ed pain. It is sad­ly under­stand­able when she tells us, there were good years and bad years. My moth­er was warm in flick­ers and then very cold. All the while, I wait­ed. Hope was lit and hope was extin­guished inces­sant­ly. On and off. On and off.” Lor­ca stead­fast­ly seeks her mother’s affec­tion through the one thing they share: an appre­ci­a­tion of excel­lent food. Her quest for the mir­a­cle leads to all the oth­ers and hope is lit up again.

With every mea­sure of won­der­ful, aro­mat­ic food, pre­pared with essen­tial ingre­di­ents, and a life­time of mem­o­ries, we await the return of fam­i­ly and love with­held or lost. Then we begin to under­stand the Ara­bic say­ing tomor­row there will be apricots.”

Pen­ny Metsch, MLS, for­mer­ly a school librar­i­an on Long Island and in New York City, now focus­es on ear­ly lit­er­a­cy pro­grams in Hobo­ken, NJ.

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