• Review
By – January 16, 2012

This com­ing-of-age teen nov­el by a Cana­di­an first-time author is the unique tale of Ellie Gold, an Ortho­dox high school stu­dent in Toron­to in the late 1980’s. Ellie is com­plete­ly hap­py with her obser­vant lifestyle, until she meets anoth­er young woman over the sum­mer at her grandmother’s cot­tage. There is an instant attrac­tion between them. Ellie feels forced to choose between her com­mu­ni­ty and her sex­u­al­i­ty. At the same time her sis­ter Neshama is plot­ting to leave the fold, while their moth­er strug­gles to find her own place. Ellie is a well-devel­oped char­ac­ter, where­as the oth­ers are not as believ­able and are more stereo­typ­i­cal. She has a close rela­tion­ship with her non-obser­vant grand­moth­er, who is there to sup­port the two sis­ters in any way they need her to be. The read­er will find the writ­ing style com­pelling. Some teenage read­ers may be uncom­fort­able with the fact that Ellie direct­ly con­fronts the lust she feels toward this new friend. The top­ic of teens grap­pling with feel­ings of homo­sex­u­al­i­ty with­in the Ortho­dox world is an unex­plored top­ic in young adult nov­els. Rec­om­mend­ed read­ing audi­ence is high school age.

Shelly Feit has an M.L.S. and a Sixth-year Spe­cial­ist’s Cer­tifi­cate in infor­ma­tion sci­ence. She is the library direc­tor and media spe­cial­ist at the Mori­ah School in Engle­wood, NJ.

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