I enjoyed this book. I did. It was a book club book, though I didn’t go to book club to talk about it. I didn’t think I could. One of the things I am just not comfortable talking about is marriage. Not being married, I have a very different perspective of marriage from many who are. My ideas don’t come only from personal experience, but from observing so many around me. Observing marriages that failed; observing marriages that “appear” to be perfect on the outside, but not so much so on the inside; observing marriages that work because of the hard work that the couple puts into it. All kinds of marriages. And observing the decline of marriage in our society as well.
Though I enjoyed this book, it also really frustrated me. The story is of a girl of the Jewish Orthodox faith. I was not aware of the traditions of this branch of the Jewish faith. It is interesting to me that the Jewish faith is not all the same in their beliefs and their practices. Sadly, it reminds me of our own LDS Church (and I’m sure others, but I only have experience as a member of the LDS faith) and how many people are breaking off with “their own take” on the faith: the fundamentalists group, the liberal group (which people group me with, but I very much disagree with and am hurt by that label), and others. It reminds me a lot of the scriptures and trouble in the scriptures when people make their own revisions to faith.
I found it interesting that some reviews praise the author for her depiction of Jewish tradition, her attention to details. And then you find reviews by people identifying themselves as Jewish, who criticize her depiction of the life. I wonder if people see books written on the LDS faith who think they are great books, but members are offended. Hmm...
I recommend this book. It would be a good book club book if you are looking for one; it is on a number of lists of recommended books for a book club. I think it just brought a lot of feelings to the surface for me and a lot of issues I have with our society’s views on and regard for marriage today.