In Escape from Mount Moriah, Jack Engelhard achieves the impossible. In a single story, a single page, a single paragraph, even a single sentence, he combines a deep, abiding love with the unvarnished, penetrating gaze of a child, gritty realism with sublime philosophy, brevity with depth, the quintessentially Jewish with the essentially universal, and witty humor with the utmost seriousness.
And isn’t that what life is really like, after all?
Engelhard’s account of his immigrant childhood in post-World War II Montreal is a series of highly evocative visits to a world that has all but faded away. Some of these trips are very intense and some are leisurely, but all leave an indelible impression on the traveler.
It is simply impossible to leave Mount Moriah the same as you came to it. For me, this has meant deepening my appreciation of personal family experiences and, on a professional level, improving my own writing.
After turning the last, bittersweet page, like the author himself, you too will yearn for just a bit more time with the “old men” (and women) who live on forever in this book.
That is evidently exactly what happened to film director Nikila Cole. So, she created My Father, Joe, an award-winning short based on the very first chapter of Escape from Mount Moriah. Accompanying the success of this supremely touching film, a new paperback edition of the book is now available through Amazon.com. As Cole put it in a recent interview, “People who liked the film really should read Jack Engelhard’s book Escape from Mount Moriah.”
I second her advice and unreservedly recommend purchasing this slim, yet powerful, volume right away.
— editor, columnist and copywriter Nissan Ratzlav-Katz
By Nissan Ratzlav Katz