The weight of ink / Rachel Kadish.

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  • Additional Information
    • Abstract:
      Summary: "An intellectual and emotional jigsaw puzzle of a novel for readers of A.S. Byatt's Possession and Geraldine Brooks's People of the Book Set in London of the 1660s and of the early twenty-first century, The Weight of Ink is the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect: Ester Velasquez, anemigrant from Amsterdam who is permitted to scribe for a blind rabbi, just before the plague hits the city; and Helen Watt, an ailing historian with a love of Jewish history. As the novel opens, Helen has been summoned by a former student to view a cache of seventeenth-century Jewish documents newly discovered in his home during a renovation. Enlisting the help of Aaron Levy, an American graduate student as impatient as he is charming, and in a race with another fast-moving team of historians, Helen embarks on one last project: to determine the identity of the documents' scribe, the elusive"Aleph."Electrifying and ambitious, sweeping in scope and intimate in tone, The Weight of Ink is a sophisticated work of historical fiction about women separated by centuries, and the choices and sacrifices they must makein order to reconcile the life of the heart and mind"-- Provided by publisher.
    • Notes:
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  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      KADISH, R. The weight of ink. [s. l.]: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017. ISBN 9780544866461. Disponível em: Acesso em: 16 jul. 2020.
    • AMA:
      Kadish R. The Weight of Ink. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 2017. Accessed July 16, 2020.
    • AMA11:
      Kadish R. The Weight of Ink. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 2017. Accessed July 16, 2020.
    • APA:
      Kadish, R. (2017). The weight of ink. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Kadish, Rachel. 2017. The Weight of Ink. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
    • Harvard:
      Kadish, R. (2017) The weight of ink. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Available at: (Accessed: 16 July 2020).
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Kadish, R 2017, The weight of ink, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, viewed 16 July 2020, .
    • MLA:
      Kadish, Rachel. The Weight of Ink. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017. EBSCOhost,
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Kadish, Rachel. The Weight of Ink. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Kadish R. The weight of ink [Internet]. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 2017 [cited 2020 Jul 16]. Available from:


Booklist Reviews 2017 May #1

Kadish positions two women born centuries apart yet united by a thirst for knowledge at the core of a richly textured, addictive novel stretching back and forth through time, from contemporary London to the late seventeenth century. When Helen Watt, a seriously debilitated expert on Jewish history, joins forces with a graduate student to uncover the identity of the anonymous scholar who penned a sheaf of newly discovered seventeenth-century Jewish documents, the two race against both the clock and another team of academics in an attempt to unmask the long-overlooked "Aleph." In 1660s London, Rachel Velasquez, a Jewish immigrant from Amsterdam, becomes a scribe for a blind rabbi. As a woman, she struggles against societal expectations and prejudices to achieve her ambitions. Meanwhile, Helen battles against the odds to uncover one last buried piece of history and give Rachel her due before it is too late. Kadish has fashioned a suspenseful literary tale that serves as a compelling tribute to women across the centuries committed to living, breathing, and celebrating the life of the mind. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

LJ Reviews 2017 April #2

Helen Watt, an elderly British academic in Jewish studies, sees her final opportunity for fame in a collection of 17th-century documents discovered in a cupboard behind a stairway in the home of a former student. The documents, primarily written in Portuguese and Hebrew, are the work of an unknown scribe, identified by the Hebrew letter aleph. As she researches, Helen and her graduate assistant Aaron Levy find that "aleph" is actually a woman named Ester Velasquez who scribed for a rabbi, blinded during the Inquisition. Ester, like Helen, chose a life of intellect over that of marriage and family. The stories of both women are linked as the novel moves back and forth between their lives 350 years apart. Ester and her blind rabbi are beset by the plague and anti-Semitism while Helen and Aaron struggle through the toxicity of academia and their own botched personal relationships. VERDICT This astonishing third novel from Kadish (after From a Sealed Room and Tolstoy Lied) introduces readers to the 17th-century Anglo-Jewish world with not only excellent scholarship but also fine storytelling. The riveting narrative and well-honed characters will earn a place in readers' hearts.—Andrea Kempf, formerly with Johnson Cty. Community Coll. Lib., Overland Park, KS

Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

LJ Reviews 2017 May #2

Inviting comparisons to A.S. Byatt's Possession, Kadish's third novel (after Tolstoy Lied) features two modern scholars investigating a literary historical mystery centered on a female Jewish scribe in 17th-century London. Immersive period detail about Jewish life in 1660s London combines with a riveting plot that touches on the pressures women have faced throughout time, balancing intellectual pursuits with devotion to family. (LJ 4/15/17)

Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

PW Reviews 2017 April #4

Like A.S. Byatt's Possession and Tom Stoppard's Arcadia, this emotionally rewarding novel follows the familiar pattern of present-day academics trying to make sense of a mystery from the past. Helen Watt, a British historian facing retirement, and her much younger American assistant, Aaron Levy, are asked to examine a cache of documents found in a London townhouse, purported to be the work of a blind rabbi in 1661 and written out by a copyist known only as Aleph. Aaron is brash and right from the outset rubs prickly, Parkinson's-suffering Helen the wrong way. But they are forced to work together after Helen realizes that Aleph was most probably a Jewish woman—unheard-of for the 17th century. In alternating chapters, we see life of the copyist, Ester Velasquez, as an immigrant from Amsterdam, her friendship with a wealthy Jewish merchant's daughter, her attempts to survive the plague and the Great Fire of London, and her covert correspondence with the preeminent minds of the period, including rogue philosopher Benedictus de Spinoza. Meanwhile, in the present, Helen and Aaron overcome academic infighting, rival historians, and greedy house owners to uncover Ester's fate. What they find out about her life informs what they ultimately learn about themselves. Ester's story illuminates the plight of London Jews in the 17th century, and Helen and Aaron's sparking relationship is vivid and memorable, as the two historians discover how desire can transcend time. (June)

Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.