The Weight of Ink (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Two women, centuries apart, work on sacred Jewish scriptures. Helen Watt, an expert historian with a love of Jewish history, is called to verify ancient scrolls that have been discovered hidden below a staircase in an old family house outside London, and Ester Velasquez, a young woman in 1660s London, serves as a scribe for a blind rabbi — a position women were not allowed to assume. Both women are incredibly devoted to their work and the history to which they are indirectly witnesses; however, their choices have come with a cost. In this work of historical fiction, Rachel Kadish has delved into the details of Jewish life in the 17th and 21st centuries, and composed a novel that is testament to the power of the written word.

~ Eight Cousins, Holiday Picks 2017

— From Holiday Picks 2017



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, an emigrant 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 make in order to reconcile the life of the heart and mind.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780544866461
ISBN-10: 0544866460
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Publication Date: June 6th, 2017
Pages: 576
Language: English