Cover image for Jumping the green : a novel
Jumping the green : a novel
Schwartz, Leslie, 1962-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster, [1999]

Physical Description:
269 pages ; 23 cm
Format :


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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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A new talent makes an auspicious debut with this haunting, erotic tale of a young woman whose grief over her sister's unsolved murder leads to a dangerous affair.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

After her sister is murdered, up-and-coming twentysomething sculptor Louise Goldblum falls into a self-destructive affair with Zeke Heirholm, a relationship marked by increasingly violent sexual and emotional abuse. Louise is unable to leave him because she finds that only sex can briefly obliterate her grief. It is not until she comes very close to losing everything important to her, including her future as an artist, her relationship to her siblings and friends, and even her own life, that Louise can finally bring herself to leave Zeke and take the first tentative steps to coming to terms with Esther's death. While the reader might wish that Louise, a complex and sympathetic character, respond to her sister's death differently, Louise's behavior makes sense set against the dysfunction of the Goldblum family. Young women in self-destructive relationships have become stock characters in the fiction of the 1990s (the novels of Kathryn Harrison and Susanna Moore come to mind), but Schwartz is a talented enough writer to both particularize and involve the reader in Louise's experiences. --Nancy Pearl

Publisher's Weekly Review

The eponymous phrase "jumping the green" is a kind of pre-emptive strike of derring-do, "like landing before you actually leap, leaving a room before the door opens, anticipating life before it happens." Before Louise Goldblum, the youngest of the five Goldblum children, is out of diapers, she can instinctively sidestep the bits of broken life around the houseÄthe glass, pottery, and furniture that are her parents' weapons against each other. By the time she is 11, she is making of these shards "strange" and "magnificent structures," displaying early the artistic talent that will make her a rising star in San Francisco art circles as the novel unfolds. Her sister, Esther, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist, has been mysteriously killed in a local motel. In search of an epiphany or maybe just some peace, Louise takes up with Zeke Heirholm, a photographer who will lead her as far as she will let him into a world of sexual and physical violence and bondage. Esther had been the most daring of the Goldblum litter in her attempts to escape their gene pool and homestead in Bay Area suburbia, from her addiction to drugs and to sexual experiments at the age of 12 with her boyfriend Danny Franconi, to her reckless professional escapades after his suicide. Eddie Goldblum, the oldest sibling, challenged the ethics of his Wall Street firm and was sent homeÄvery nearly in a body bag. The ambitious Martin became a research scientist, perhaps avenging the death sentences he had passed on hundreds of animals in his childhood as an amateur taxonomist. Only Mary, with her renegade gentleness, patience and button-down-husband, seems out of place. In this provocative first novel, Schwartz gracefully reveals Louise's struggle to comprehend her identityÄas an artist, and as a Goldblum. Flashback chapters infuse the plot with a page-turning momentum, without sacrificing the elegance of Louise's gradually more penetrating introspection. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The loss of a sibling can be devastating. For Louise Goldblum, it is disabling to the point of self-destruction. Louise, a rising young artist on the San Francisco art scene, is the product of a Catholic mother and a Jewish father, both bitter, sad drunks. Louise also has two brothers and two sisters, and it is the unsolved murder of her sister Esther that sends her spiraling out of control. She meets Zeke, a fellow artist, who attracts and disgusts her at the same time. Possessed by demons they're unable to shake, Louise and Zeke enter into a destructive relationship full of sexual and physical abuse. Told in a mixture of flashback and present-day, first-person narrative, Schwartz's novel is not for the weak of heart. Erotic, sad, and thought-provoking, this intense story of love and families gone bad is a compelling yet disturbing read. Recommended for larger literary collections.ÄRobin Nesbitt, Columbus Metropolitan Lib., OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.