Acts of Atonement is the second book in the tale of Serach Gottesman – headstrong eldest daughter of a rigidly Orthodox Jewish family, and Paloma Rodriguez — ambitious child of a viciously unsupportive Latina Catholic mother.
They form a union against all expectations and ten years later — when this second book starts — they are still cozily ensconced together, delighting in New York’s rich diversity, nimbly dodging any pangs of nostalgia or guilt. Until an unexpected death, a seductive offer, and a brush with violence and the criminal court system test their courage, fidelity — and love. Acts of Atonement parlays the challenges of one devoted couple into an exploration of a range of broader issues, including:
‑Can women and LGBTQI individuals experience full equality within traditional religions and cultures?
‑Can someone raised with strong traditional beliefs ever totally escape their power?
‑Is Latino machismo unique, or does Judaism have its own brand?
‑What happens when atoning for a betrayal means betraying something else?
‑Can we ever be entirely true to our complicated selves?