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Download Up from Orchard Street Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Up from Orchard Street Audiobook, by Eleanor Widmer Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (159 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Eleanor Widmer Narrator: Lorna Raver Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455182787
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Three generations of Roths live together in a crowded tenement flat. Long-widowed Manya is the family’s head and its heart. She’s renowned throughout the neighborhood for her cooking, and every noontime the front room of the flat turns into Manya’s private restaurant. But Manya is no soft touch, except, perhaps, where her granddaughter Elka is concerned. Precocious Elka is her closest companion and confidante. Through Elka’s eyes we come to know the fascinating characters who move in and out of the Roths’ lives. Money may have been short but opinions were not, and their tart tongues and lively humor abound. In this riveting story lies the heart of the American immigrant experience: a novel at once wise, funny, poignant, anguishing, exultant, and bursting with love.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Widmer’s novel of mixed emotions focuses on the Roths, especially family matriarch Manya Roth, and the manner in which they infuse their tenement and neighborhood with warmth and vitality...Lorna Raver’s reading allows the characters, a term that is equally noun and adjective, to shine through with distinctive and realistic personalities. In particular, Raver captures the strength of Manya Roth and the youthful optimism of her granddaughter, Elke. As a result, Raver not only gives life to the book, she also succeeds in reading with a joy that sustains the listener's interest.”

    Audiofile

  • “Poignant snapshot of a long-lost era and place…[This] first novel offers pungent, nostalgic vignettes of Jewish life on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • An Audie Award Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sherilyn | 1/19/2014

    " Great book. listened to it on my Ipod. I loved the different voices and could not put it down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amara | 1/6/2014

    " I was hoping for another "Tree grows in Brooklyn", and so was disappointed naturally, but still, a pretty good book. It follows a Jewish family through three generations in New York. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 12/31/2013

    " I truly enjoyed reading this book so much that I ended up taking the tenement tour of the lower east side. Great tour! (I then noticed they lived in an old tenement apt in Devil Wears Prada.) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jodi | 12/30/2013

    " I thought this was a light entertaining book. It started out a bit disjointed for me, but then became more engaging. A sweet story about people living in the NY Jewish ghetto. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barbara | 12/28/2013

    " A great story of multi-generational family in the tenements of New York in the 1930s. They finally work themselves out of that deprivation but then regret the loss of the close relationships they had in that neighborhood. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marti Andrews | 12/3/2013

    " Great account of the Jewish ghetto in America. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kokolani Missett | 11/29/2013

    " Just couldn't get into this book. It was on my Barnes and Noble Book Club for November and I just couldn't get into it... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mary sipp rigby | 11/28/2013

    " was ready 4 it 2 end.... so so "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joy | 5/26/2013

    " Very Jewish novel of growing up on the lower east side, in the 30's/40's. Semi-autobiographical, a quick summer read, lot's of details, interesting insite into this family, very differnt from my own upbringing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susie | 5/6/2013

    " If you want a good NYC Jewish book through the early 20th century, this one's for you. It's based on the author's family but told in novel form. I liked it and I learned a lot. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mom | 2/20/2013

    " A novel that is part memoir,part social history and part fiction. Three generations of the Roth family share a crowded tenement in the Lower East Side Jewish ghetto during the 1930s. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisa | 9/26/2012

    " This book was slow moving. While it paints a picture of time gone by, it focuses on the day to day unhappiness of lower east side living in the 1930s. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mischelle | 9/15/2012

    " This was a funny book, well written and great narration on Audible but didn't quite click with me. It is a collection of stories some funny, some not, about an immigrant family in New York. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cathy | 8/14/2012

    " This book reminded me so much of my grandma and she was so dear to me . Too bad the author died before this book was completed so we will never see another book from the author . Her son completed this book for her and what a loving tribute to her , for her son to finish it . "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 7/13/2012

    " A very nice story - I kept waiting for something bad to happen but nothing did. It was very refreshing that way. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hillary | 7/5/2012

    " Great book. Enjoyed very much. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharon Rapkowski | 3/4/2012

    " This is a simple story set in simple times. I did enjoy it very much. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Courtney Burns | 8/22/2011

    " I listened to this rather than read it over a period of about a month--had I read it I think I would have finished it faster and liked it a bit more. I really enjoyed reading about Jewish life in New York city during the the early 1900s--really fun/interesting glimpses. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patti | 6/27/2011

    " This was an audio book and a fairly terribly successful transition to spoken word. Light reading, not terribly taxing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 5/13/2011

    " A very nice story - I kept waiting for something bad to happen but nothing did. It was very refreshing that way. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leah | 4/18/2010

    " A very good book about a non religious Jewish girl growing up in NYC tenements. It is just a good novel and not sad (I hate sad sometimes). I love the family and world it introduced me to, and I loved the writing. This is one for the favorites list. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mary | 2/26/2010

    " was ready 4 it 2 end.... so so "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susie | 10/8/2009

    " If you want a good NYC Jewish book through the early 20th century, this one's for you. It's based on the author's family but told in novel form. I liked it and I learned a lot. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mom | 6/21/2009

    " A novel that is part memoir,part social history and part fiction. Three generations of the Roth family share a crowded tenement in the Lower East Side Jewish ghetto during the 1930s. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mischelle | 4/9/2009

    " This was a funny book, well written and great narration on Audible but didn't quite click with me. It is a collection of stories some funny, some not, about an immigrant family in New York. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 12/7/2008

    " I truly enjoyed reading this book so much that I ended up taking the tenement tour of the lower east side. Great tour! (I then noticed they lived in an old tenement apt in Devil Wears Prada.) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Courtney | 11/20/2008

    " I listened to this rather than read it over a period of about a month--had I read it I think I would have finished it faster and liked it a bit more. I really enjoyed reading about Jewish life in New York city during the the early 1900s--really fun/interesting glimpses. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kokolani | 10/1/2008

    " Just couldn't get into this book. It was on my Barnes and Noble Book Club for November and I just couldn't get into it... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patti | 2/9/2008

    " This was an audio book and a fairly terribly successful transition to spoken word. Light reading, not terribly taxing. "

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About the Author

Eleanor Widmer, who grew up on New York’s Lower East Side, earned a master’s degree at Columbia University and a doctorate in English literature at the University of Washington in 1956. She had a varied career as a scholar, critic, teacher, and a food and restaurant critic in the San Diego region where she made her home. She died in California in 2004 at the age of eighty. Up from Orchard Street was her first novel.

About the Narrator

Lorna Raver, named one of AudioFile magazine’s Best Voices of the Year, has received numerous Audie Award nominations and fifrteen AudioFile Earphones Awards. An experienced stage actress, she has also guest-starred on many top television series and starred in director Sam Raimi’s film Drag Me to Hell. Her numerous audiobook credits include The Age of Innocence, Up from Orchard Street, The Lodger, Selected Readings from the Portable Dorothy Parker, and Diamond Ruby.