Chronicles from a vanished world.
No one like Isaac Bashevis Singer is able to zoom on daily tiny details without losing focus on the whole plot and keeping your attention awake for more than 600 pages with no single moment of boredom or prolixity.
So far, I have never found a wide bunch of so realistic fictional characters: each of them is beyond evil or good simply behaving just like each of us do, sometimes in a selfish way, sometimes being selfless. Potential villains may show humanity and tenderness. Potential matinee idols may disappoint taking the wrong decision.
The author never judges the people he created, but he actually became them from time to time, from page to page.
And counting only the main characters this book shows at least two dozens of personalities and a thick and richful net of interactions among them.
What Singer did in this book is absolutely amazing.
This is not only masterful literature. This is a lively fresco of a whole society and lifestyle portrayed in the years before they perished.
There is humour and there is sorrow, there is romanticism and there is disillusion. What else can I say? Overall, a masterpiece.