The Matriarch is the first of 5 books dealing with the Rakoniwitz's, a Jewish family in the 1800s. (the second, A deputy was king, (but not the rest) was also published as a Virago Modern Classic). It's essentially a family saga, detailing the lives of many generations of the family. A review I read suggested that the writing and story improved as the book progressed. Unfortunately I didn't make it that far. I am not looking forward to having to have a go at the second one, but maybe it will be better.*
This book has been published just the once with an original green cover.
* I have a new policy with my VMC reading, that I will allow myself "do not finishes" but I do at least have to try the rest of that author's works. I was feeling put off many of the books in my TBR pile because they were big and unappealing. I think it's still within the spirit of the project, but I will tag posts DNF if I did not finish them so we can see at the end how many I didn't complete and which ones they were!