This story describes the sudden Job-like travails of a successful, wealthy Jewish American modern Orthodox family. Abigael Samuels’ husband Adam has honestly worked his way up in the world, achieving high end material comforts and social status in his community. When their hard-earned world begins to crumble around them, the truth about their friends and rabbi’s loyalty emerges. Coddled, youngest daughter Kayla, who is a Harvard law student and about to get married, is most affected by the dramatic changes and negative publicity. Kayla makes a spontaneous selfish decision which radically changes her family’s dynamics and the course of her family’s future. As in her previous book, The Saturday Wife, Ragen openly airs her political and religious viewpoints through her storytelling and is judgmental about the priorities of today’s Jewish American way of life. This is a fast paced tale with beautiful detail. Although the author sometimes depicts stereotypical characters in unrealistic situations, it is still enjoyable to read and discuss.
Miriam Bradman Abrahams is a Cuban-born, Brooklyn-raised, Long Island-residing mom. She is Hadassah Nassau’s One Region One Book chairlady, a freelance essayist, and a certified yoga instructor who has loved reviewing books for the JBC for the past ten years.