The Promise of a Nor­mal Life

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2021

The unnamed nar­ra­tor is a fierce­ly obser­vant, intro­vert­ed Jewish‐​American girl who seems to exist in a pri­vate and sep­a­rate realm. She’s the child of a first‐​generation doc­tor and lawyer — whose own sto­ries have the loud grandeur of fam­i­ly leg­end — in an upper-mid­dle-class Amer­i­ca where Jews are exclud­ed from the coun­try club across the street. Her expec­ta­tions for adult­hood are often con­tra­dic­to­ry. In the chang­ing land­scape of the 1960s, she attempts to find her way through the rit­u­als of life, her geog­ra­phy expand­ing across the coun­try, across the ocean, and into mul­ti­ple nations. Along the way, she meets a glam­orous hair­dress­er on a cruise ship to Israel, loopy tarot‐​card‐​reading pas­sen­gers, and Alice‐​in‐​Wonderland lawyers in Haifa. There’s a blue‐​eyed all‐​American col­lege boyfriend, a mys­ti­fied tourist agent in the Lofoten Islands, a hand­some eli­gi­ble rab­bi in LA, a right­eous and self‐​absorbed MIT pro­fes­sor, and a clan­des­tine, cal­cu­lat­ing lover in Boston. Even­tu­al­ly, she finds her own com­pass, but only after being swept to sev­er­al dis­tant shores by many winds.

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