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In this brief excerpt near the beginning of Pillars of Salt, Suzanne recalls to her friend, Naomi, that she had all the worry of organizing the shiva house, but some less-than-helpful family relations “were casing out the joint”.
Worst of all, she says, with frequent interruptions from her mother, Tilly, the relatives helped themselves to a special bottle of scotch.
It’s an incident that sets the tone for Michael Ross Albert’s unconventional perspective on the Jewish custom of shiva.
It is also the catalyst for the sometimes tense, and often funny goings-on in Tilly’s and Suzanne’s family—one which audience members are bound to recognize!