The Grandmothers' Club


byAlan Cheuse. Gibbs M. Smith. $18.95. Mrs. Bloch, a loving but increasingly decrepit grandmother, tells of her rebellious youth in Eastern Europe, of her son’s rise to prosperity in New York, and of the family’s eventual collapse into dissension and disaster. She has several different listeners, a distinctive narrative style, and what appears to be total recall. She should be a garrulous old bore, but thanks to Mr. Cheuse’s literary skill she is always interesting and her account of the tensions between traditional Jewish morality and the alluring opportunities of the New World arouses both sympathy and pity. This is a very good novel.