Review of The Tale-Teller from the Canadian Jewish News

“In her fictional work The Tale-Teller (Cormorant Books), Glickman highlights Esther’s crafty ability to tell fascinating and beguiling stories about herself and her adventures that keep her listeners spellbound. Many of the details she gleans from books (such as Robinson Crusoe) in the library of her host, Intendant Hocquart, in whose home she becomes a temporary servant while her case is being decided. During that interval she acts as a Jewish Scheherazade, spinning charming, almost spellbinding tales in order to win a reprieve from deportation.

Wishing to become an indispensible member of the household, Esther tries to seduce her hosts with her culinary skills. Having brought a bag of cocoa beans with her from New France, she cooks them, pounds them into a mortar, adds almonds, hazelnut, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and an egg, and pours the whipped concoction into a cup for Monsieur Hocquart.

“He was delighted, proclaiming that Esther’s chocolate was the finest he had ever tasted; better than the beverage served in the finest homes in France; better than that Beauharnois drank every morning for breakfast to give him stamina for his amorous and military conquests. Hocquart had often drunk chocolate at other people’s houses but no one in his staff knew how to prepare it properly. Esther having revealed this talent, he would be happy to drink chocolate morning, noon and night.”

The Tale-Teller is likewise an appealing confection, a colourful historical adventure-fantasy and a skilful imagining of the inhabitants of New France in its early period before 1759.”

— Bill Gladstone, CJNews, February 21, 2013

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