We Need to Talk

Rochel Sofer
  • Review
By – January 19, 2012
We Need to Talk address­es anorex­ia ner­vosa, mar­i­tal dis­cord, and post-par­tum depres­sion, sub­jects not often dis­cussed in lit­er­a­ture intend­ed for the Ortho­dox teenag­er. While Sofer is to be com­mend­ed for tak­ing on these dif­fi­cult issues, this nov­el is sim­ply not long enough to do them all jus­tice, and it suf­fers as a result. Miri, a young, enthu­si­as­tic teacher at a Yeshi­va high school for at risk” girls, devel­ops a close rela­tion­ship with Risa. Risa’s moth­er is dead and her father is rarely home, and Miri’s fam­i­ly becomes a haven for her. A pass­ing remark about need­ing to lose a few pounds sends Risa into a down­ward spi­ral of fast­ing and exer­cise. Miri is deal­ing with post-par­tum depres­sion fol­low­ing the birth of her third child; her hus­band and moth­er want to help her, but have no idea what to do. Miri is also envi­ous of the com­fort­able life her best friend seems to have, though she does not see the ten­sion in her friend’s mar­riage. By the novel’s end, each prob­lem is fixed, or at least a solu­tion is in the works: Miri is on med­ica­tion for the depres­sion, and she is com­ing out of the fog that had con­sumed her; her friend’s mar­riage is back on track; and Risa has asked for help. Rec­om­mend­ed for high school readers.
Mar­ci Lavine Bloch earned her MLS from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mary­land, a BA from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Penn­syl­va­nia and an MA in Eng­lish Lit­er­a­ture from Ford­ham Uni­ver­si­ty. She has worked in syn­a­gogue and day school libraries and is cur­rent­ly fin­ish­ing her term on the Syd­ney Tay­lor Book Award Committee.

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