An Excerpt From ‘Mount Terminus’
In David Grand’s atmospheric new novel, ‘Mount Terminus’, set in pre-Hollywood Los Angeles, a man can’t outrun his dark New York past.
The Rosenblooms were conceived somewhere on the other side of the world. In a country whose name they didn’t know. To mothers and fathers who were most likely dead. Those who told them about their origin could only say with any certainty they had been carried by many caretakers to a port on the shore of the Adriatic Sea, where they were placed on a ship and into the arms of an old rabbi and his wife, who bundled Bloom’s father together with his mother and her twin sister in a bread basket. Each child, so far as the rabbi and his wife knew, had yet been named. From the story of Joseph, the rabbi called the boy Jacob, the sisters, the rabbi’s wife called Rachel and Leah, and they passed down to each of them their family name. When the ship landed, the elderly couple claimed them as their grandchildren. To the gatekeeper, the old man swore on the scrolls of the Torah cradled in his arms they had been born by his two daughters, both of whom, he said, had died in childbirth. Because they were too old and poor to parent the children themselves, the rabbi and his wife carried Jacob, Rachel, and Leah to the Hebrew Orphan Asylum on the lower east end of the city, where they lived for many years….