The Immigrant is a vivid, breathtaking, and uplifting tale of tragedy, triumph, and the struggle to discover what matters most.
The year is 1920, and a teenage Russian boy named Lev has just witnessed his entire world go up in flames. His parents killed in a horrific blaze, Lev, homeless and alone, finds himself joining up with a strange traveling circus. He sets off on a dark journey across a bleak landscape of corruption and persecution.
Facing violent racists, unscrupulous conmen, seedy thugs, and deadly Russian police, Lev’s travels take him across the ocean, through the Big Apple, and finally to the wind-swept deserts of America’s Southwest. But even as he searches for his last living relative, he finds himself embarking on another journey, into the mysteries of growing up. And discovering what the word ‘home’ truly means.
An epic journey through a tumultuous period of history, The Immigrant will delight readers with its vivid portrayal of a world lost to time. An unimaginable adventure. An unforgettable young man.
"Petrovsky’s prose is succinct and simple, reflecting the perspective of a young man thrown headlong into the perilous task of growing up. Lev’s observations are carefully crafted to evoke universal themes; for example, he notes, upon arriving in New York, that “America is no better than any place else.…As an idea, it is genius, a towering light so bright that it blocks all ugliness and intolerance.” The author adds depth to the novel’s historical context by showing the complex dynamics among different ethnic groups, including conflicts between Southern and Eastern European Jews in New York, and much later, difficulties between Latinx and Native American people in Arizona. A nuanced and poignant coming-of-age historical novel." —Kirkus Reviews
"Insightful and compelling. The Immigrant captures the resilience of the human spirit and inspires us with a story of courage. If you want to understand the plight faced by Jewish families in Russia during the 1920s, this book is for you."—J.L. Witterick, author of My Mother's Secret
"The oft-told tale of a teen escaping Russian persecution for the promises of America gets a fresh twist via some unique settings, including a traveling circus, an eventful ocean voyage, and the deserts of Arizona in Frederic Petrovsky's The Immigrant. A story of survival from previous generations to inspire the next."—Alina Adams, author of The Nesting Dolls
"Mr. Petrovsky has written a vivid and moving novel set in the turbulent time of post-1917 revolutionary Russia. He has the gift of making the reader feel that they are actually experiencing that time and place."—Charles Belfoure, author of The Paris Architect
“The first thing that grabbed me in Frederic Petrovsky's novel was its style. The sense of awe stayed with me as I kept reading the book and noticed how it became versatile and always fit masterfully the location and people.”—JewishBookWorld
"Petrovsky writes with refreshing clarity, uncomplicated but never missing a detail that fixes his readers to time and place. There’s the hot terror and ruin of the Russian pogroms, the heavy musk of the traveling circus and the perfume of his “sweethearts” there, the fetid tenements of lower Manhattan with their stews simmering in sticky hot kitchens."—BookTrib
“I never tire of reading about immigrants who fled the pogroms in Russia for a better life in America.”—Gay Courter, author of The Midwife
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