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THE GRAVEDIGGER’S DAUGHTER by Joyce Carol Oates in paperback at 11.20 euros.
Beautiful Hazel Jones and her young son Zach are liked and admired by all they meet but inspire curiosity too.
Why is Zach forbidden to mention his father and how did Hazel get the scars on her forehead which she takes such pains to hide? They roam from place to place, settling nowhere and confiding in nobody.
Hazel Jones wasn’t always her name – once it was Rebecca Schwart. Fleeing Nazi Germany in 1936, the Schwarts immigrate to a small town in upstate New York. Her father, a former high school teacher and hampered by language and poverty, is demeaned by the only job he can get – gravedigger and cemetery caretaker. The family lived in a hovel on the edge of the cemetery.
Driven mad by subjection to daily humiliation and destitution, Rebecca’s father committed a horrific crime which changed the course of her life forever. When local prejudice and the family’s own emotional frailty overwhelm her, she heads out into America, embarking upon an extraordinary journey of erotic risk and ingenious self-invention.