Set in 1917–1925, On the Shore follows the upheaval in an immigrant Jewish family when a son lies about his name and age to fight in WWI. Without telling his family, 16-year-old Shmuel Levinson (a.k.a. Sam Lord) strives to prove his manhood and escape his father’s pressure that he become a rabbi by enlisting in the Navy. His smart but rebellious younger sister, Dev, mourns his disappearance, while chafing against her father’s expectation that she marry instead of pursuing a career in science. Their successful uncle, Gershon Mendel, confronts failure when he ventures beyond their sheltered Lower East Side community to search for the missing boy. On the Shore offers a poignant look at the strained relationships that trouble the multi-generation immigrant families of today as well as yesteryear.
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