Review from The Boston Globe
“Safekeeping, Jessamyn Hope’s luminous, irreverent, and ambitious first novel, shows how a single item — a medieval brooch made by a Jewish artisan for his wife — connects people across time and history. Full of romance, tragedy, betrayal, and the constant reminder that chaos is a driving force in everyone’s story, Safekeeping is a wise and memorable debut by a novelist of great talent and originality."
Read more at The Boston Globe.
Review from The Globe and Mail
“Hope artfully pulls these storylines together in a book that is greater than the sum of its parts. A complex, beautiful story about the inheritance of Jewish history.”
Read more at The Globe and Mail.
Review from The Montreal Gazette
"One of the most assured debut novels in years, the book takes on a lot of challenges — structural, temporal and thematic — and meets them one by one. It’s a page-turner that satisfies all the cravings of escapist reading while meeting the real world head-on."
Read more at The Montreal Gazette.
"The Librarian is In" from New York Public Library recommends Safekeeping
"The Librarian is In" is the New York Public Library's podcast about books, culture, and what to read next. Tune it at minute 6:45 to hear why Gwen Glazer, host and NYPL Recommendations Editor, "loved" Safekeeping.
Review from Booklist
"This beautiful story of loss and hope sweeps artfully through 600 years of Jewish resilience. With its richly drawn, believable characters and its great sensitivity, Hope’s novel is a striking debut.”
Read more at Booklist, the American Library Association's book review magazine.
Review from The Jerusalem Post
"One of Hope’s biggest feats with Safekeeping is the balance she strikes between the protagonists’ complex personal stories and the dramatic events taking place in the background . . . a pleasurable and engulfing read."
Read more at The Jerusalem Post.
Safekeeping Makes The Boston Globe’s List of Suggested Summer Reads.
“What should you read this summer? What a delicious question. Aside from the unread books piled around your house, there is the ripe new bounty that publishers are just beginning to release into stores and libraries. This summer features big novels from household names, from Harper Lee to Stephen King to Milan Kundera, and debuts from young novelists whom we’ll be meeting for the very first time. . .”
Read more at The Boston Globe.
The New York Public Library Recommends Safekeeping
Expert staff members at the New York Public Library pick out their favorites books to help you find your next one, and Safekeeping is on the list.
Read more at the NYPL's Staff Picks.
Safekeeping Makes Jewish Journal's Top-Ten List of Books for Chanukah
"In this well-written debut novel by a promising new author, readers will be fully absorbed by these convincing characters as they search for the redemption they desperately seek."
Read more at Jewish Journal.
Star Reviewed from Shelf Awareness
"Although [the author] never shies from portraying the dark side of human nature, readers will find compassion for the damaged souls inhabiting her story. A snapshot of a pivotal moment in the life of a community as well as a retrospective on the persecution of Jewish people throughout history, this emotional journey will leave readers with aching hearts and deepened empathy for the waifs and strays of our world."
Read more at Shelf Awareness.
Review from Colorado Review
"Knowledge of kibbutzim, the Holy Roman Empire, or post–World War II Israeli history isn’t required to read this gorgeously written, evocative novel . . ."
Read more at Colorado Review.
5 Books You Won’t Be Able To Put Down After The First Page
"You know that magical feeling you experience when you pick up a new book and immediately get sucked in? The one that transports you to another world from the very first page and it feels oh, so good? It doesn’t happen with every single novel, but that only makes it all the more special..."
Read more at Playster.
Review from Book Riot
"Safekeeping is a gorgeous debut, spanning seven centuries, that questions what it means to do, well, anything, if everything is temporary. This is an excellent emotional roller coaster ride."
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Safekeeping on Baker & Taylor's Fresh Press roundup: "Our Favorite Books of 2015 So Far."
"Friends, this is an excellent story made up with all the things that make novels so special: a good plot, even better characters, and redemption. I eagerly await what Ms. Hope writes next."
Read more at Indie Fresh Press.
Review from Library Journal
As Hope deftly juggles the various stories and backstories of her protagonists and the 600-year-old history of the sapphire brooch that Adam wishes to deliver to his grandfather’s mysterious lost love, the debut novelist, a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, weaves an intricate tapestry of love and longing, failure and redemption. Not every character will be saved but readers will keep rooting for them.”
Read more at The Library Journal.
Reviews from Washington Jewish Week and Baltimore Jewish Times
"Jessamyn Hope understands well the art of doling out the plot in small doses, reeling in the reader hoping for more revelations. She may be a first-time author, but she’s already a master storyteller."
Safekeeping on the Jewish Telegraphic Agency's Must Read List for Summer
"Spanning seven centuries and three continents, it’s one of those sweeping epics that’s easy to get swept up in."
Read more at the JTA.
Review from New Pages
“Safekeeping is an immersive, impressive first novel. It opens with suspense, is filled with compelling characters, and its timeline opens and closes like an accordion."
Read more at NewPages.com.
Review from The Jerusalem Report
“Safekeeping,” a debut novel by Jessamyn Hope, offers a compelling example of how the lives of American Jews, no matter how alienated from their religion, retain roots that reach back into a past they can scarcely imagine."
Read more at The Jerusalem Report.
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle: Brooklyn author to release debut novel focusing on Jewish history
“Safekeeping,” by Brooklyn resident Jessamyn Hope, is an expansive debut novel about love, the inevitability of loss and the courage it takes to keep starting over. Set against the backdrop of Jewish history, “Safekeeping” explores human perseverance through the stories of six troubled characters whose lives intersect one summer on a kibbutz in Israel.
Read more at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
“There is no writer whose first novel I have awaited more eagerly than Jessamyn Hope, and Safekeeping surpasses my expectations. It’s a brilliant and captivating novel about the past, the present, and the future, about love and legacy, and it is written with Hope’s singular blend of intelligence, clarity, and grace. I am very happy it is finally here among us.” —Peter Cameron, author of Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You and Coral Glynn
“A summer on a kibbutz; a disparate cast of characters torn by their own past lives and the inescapable burdens of history; a plot driven by a valuable gold brooch crafted by a master goldsmith in the Middle Ages: from these seemingly ordinary materials Jessamyn Hope has wrought something wonderful. I don’t mean simply that her plot is compelling, utterly lucid, and deeply resonant, which it is; or that her troubled characters are created with both deep compassion and clear-eyed skepticism, which they are; or even that she writes brilliantly, which she does. What’s most wonderful about Safekeeping is the author’s uncanny sense of how much of the world can be understood by keen attention to its smallest particulars, and how meaningfulness will multiply when you refuse to force upon the reader your own personal meanings. Like the exquisite gold brooch that shimmers emblematically at its center, Safekeeping seems to glow with a rich patina of timelessness, the sign of true art. Listen, do yourself a huge favor, read this book.” —Mark Dintenfass, author of Old World, New World and A Loving Place
“This globetrotting, century-hopping novel is extraordinary. Fearless and tender, Jessamyn Hope holds in her hands both the sweep of history and the intricacies of the human heart. Lives shaped by larger forces must still be lived, and with desire and fear, strength and frailty, the characters in Safekeeping movingly struggle towards transformation. These are people and a story that will stick with me.” —Caitlin Horrocks, author of This Is Not Your City
“With a sharp eye and a masterful hand, Jessamyn Hope brings to life the complex world of one Israeli kibbutz—from the troubled young volunteers to the new immigrant Russians to its old embattled Socialist founders—during a single sweltering Middle Eastern summer. Rich in history, lavish in its portrayal of place, and fueled by an exciting tale about a jewel that must be restored to its rightful owner, Safekeeping is a terrifically absorbing read by a writer who knows what she’s talking about. I was hooked from the first page.” —Joan Leegant, author of Wherever You Go and An Hour in Paradise
“In Safekeeping, Jessamyn Hope explores the manifold contradictions of the people drawn to Israel as elegantly as the medieval jeweler who designed the heirloom brooch that dramatically catalyzes her plot. Both passionate and compassionate, the novel is a joy to read.” —Melvin Jules Bukiet, author of After: A Novel and editor of Nothing Makes You Free: Writings by Descendants of Jewish Holocaust Survivors
"In Safekeeping, Jessamyn Hope introduces an extraordinary cast of characters and by way of their desires and secrets weaves an intricate and moving portrait of humanity. Hope is an enormously skillful storyteller, providing great suspense while also creating the daily patterns of these memorable lives." —Jill McCorkle, author of Life After Life and Going Away Shoes
“I hadn't read very far into Jessamyn Hope's beautiful novel before I knew I was in the presence of a unique talent. Her voice is unlike anyone else's, and she knows these characters inside out and has made them come alive in these gorgeously written pages. Safekeeping is cause for celebration. I admired every word of it.” —Steve Yarbrough, author of The Realm of Last Chances and Safe from the Neighbors