Sev­en Stitches

Ruth Ten­z­er Feldman
  • Review
By – March 27, 2017

In this third book of the Blue Thread series, we meet Meryem Zarfati who has been injured in the big earth­quake which hits Port­land in the year 2059. Dur­ing the quake Meryem’s moth­er is list­ed as miss­ing but her body is not found, and due to hous­ing issues, Meryem’s grand­moth­er and great aunt move in with her along with some addi­tion­al ten­ants. Her grand­moth­er and great aunt are of Viet­namese and black ori­gin, adopt­ed by the Zarfati fam­i­ly as chil­dren. Each Miri­am in the Zarfati fam­i­ly has passed along the spe­cial tal­lit with the blue thread in it that allows all the Miri­ams of the fam­i­ly to trav­el through time and space to help oth­ers in times of need. In order to search for her moth­er, Meryem vol­un­teers at an agency every month which search­es for miss­ing peo­ple. Ban­don, a hous­ing activist who is want­ed by the police, joins the fam­i­ly when he brings a friend’s goat to ser­vice” Meryem’s goat and he moves in, as well.

Once Meryem finds the tal­lit, Ser­ach, daugh­ter of the ancient Ash­er, appears and takes Meryem to 16th cen­tu­ry Ottoman Empire. Ser­ach and Meryem togeth­er help a young Jew­ish slave girl obtain her free­dom in the 16th cen­tu­ry while in the 21st cen­tu­ry Meryem, her grand­moth­er and her aunt find hous­ing for the home­less work­ers at the res­cue cen­ter and, togeth­er with her lawyer, Meryem is able to get Ban­don off the per­sona-non-gra­ta list of Port­land. Past and future come togeth­er in unex­pect­ed ways at every turn of the plot.

The sto­ry weaves togeth­er racial issues, home­less­ness, slav­ery, per­son­al loss, the ethics of gov­ern­ment inter­ven­tion, adop­tion and much more along the time and space con­tin­u­um through the say­ing on the tal­lit, Zedek Zedek tird­of, Jus­tice, Jus­tice you shall pursue.

Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 9 – 15.

Dro­ra Arussy, Ed.D., is an edu­ca­tion­al con­sul­tant who spe­cial­izes in inte­grat­ing Jew­ish and sec­u­lar stud­ies, the arts into edu­ca­tion, and cre­ative teach­ing for excel­lence in Jew­ish edu­ca­tion. She is the moth­er to four school-age chil­dren and has taught from pre-school through adult. Dro­ra is an adjunct pro­fes­sor of Hebrew lan­guage at Drew University.

Discussion Questions