Silverstone, Monty. “Forever Lasts till Dawn”, Monty Silverstone, 2014.
Hollywood and Broadway and Points in Between
Monty Silverstone brings us a big novel that is filled with “action, excitement, struggles, career successes, Hollywood and Broadway, and intrigue”. Here is the story of two young ladies who go to London where they find jobs, have relationships, survive setbacks and emerge as successful actresses on the stage, in business and as mothers. Rags to riches stories are certainly not new so a writer must have a special hook to pull readers in and Silverstone does just that. His story is one that is based on actual happenings. Our two heroes are street dancers in London and are dragged into violence sex and deceit as well as romance.
It all begins in London, 1940 where we meet characters who are the grandchildren of those characters whose story is contained in this novel. We then go back in time to the year 1902 and to the Ukraine where we meet Aleca Rabinovich and Sarah Brodsky. Each lives with her family in Pushcha Vodytsia and they are close neighbors, in fact one is rarely seen without the other. Times are hard and the girls help out their families financially by singing and dancing for coins on the street. The two girls are the main characters in our story here as they go through life together experiencing both happiness and sadness. Because of the pogroms, they run away to London and get jobs working in a Russian tea shop yet continue to street dance to help with their wages. As they get older and mature each girl makes a decision about how her life will go—Aleca continues with dancing while Sarah decides to become a secretary. The girls have a strong work ethic and they really work hard.
As we might expect, the girls find love and intimacy; they both lose love to death; they both become pregnant with no husband and they both experience sufferings and survive. They later gain wealth through marriage and inheritance. It is interesting that their lives go separate ways for a brief time because they both are in love with the same person who influences each girl.
Both girls are always concerned about the fates of their families that they left behind and who were supposedly taken to Siberia to work in camps. We follow the girls and their families for four generations.
As if it were not enough to have the wonderful of the girls, author Silverstone also gives us something of a history lesson that includes the theater of London, the movie industry, the depression, the Russian revolution, Hitler, Nazism and anti-Semitism, the early women’s movement, World War II and on to the modern period.
The girls’ daughters, Michelle and Maxine go on to be like their mothers; they are both dancers and gain fame and then become mothers themselves. While we have many subplots here, the overriding plot is friendship. We see it tested time and again and we are fully aware of its value.
Silverstone is a wonderful writer with wonderful descriptions of wherever we might be—from the Ukraine to London to anywhere else. Our two major characters are wonderfully drawn and we feel like we are spending time with friends. There is so much to like here and while there are many characters and subplots, everything comes together.