The Immigrant Experience Tied With Being a Twin
By Janice Steinberg
Random House, $26.00, 340 pages, 4 stars
The Tin Horse is not a book to be rushed through; instead you will want to savor each and every page. Elaine Greenstein is in the midst of moving out of her home and into a retirement community, Ranch Mañana. As she is shifting through her belongings, she finds a card that reminds her of her twin sister, Barbara, who ran away when she was 18. The Tin Horse details life in 1920’s and 30’s Boyle Heights, a Jewish neighborhood in Los Angeles. As the story progresses, the reader learns of her mother’s childhood hardship in Romania before arriving in America. But America posed its own hardships for Elaine’s parents, as they struggled to survive and be defined by their Jewish community. As is typical, the younger generations struggled between where they came from and the desire to fit in with their American surroundings. Both Elaine and Barbara dealt with the assimilation differently, which results in very different outcomes. After 60 plus years, Elaine decides to find out what happened to her twin. The Tin Horse is written with chapters flipping from present day to the past. You will get snippets of the painful past and how it influenced present day events. In the end, you will have found a family that you have connected with, struggled with and felt pain with.
Reviewed by Seniye Groff