You or Some­one Like You

Chan­dler Burr
  • Review
By – January 13, 2012

In his first, well craft­ed and thor­ough­ly enjoy­able nov­el, New York Times scent crit­ic Chan­dler Burr presents a sweep­ing spec­trum, set in Hol­ly­wood, of con­tem­po­rary reli­gious and social issues. A large cast of char­ac­ters from just about every cul­tur­al group in Amer­i­ca walk in and out of the Rosen­baum home. Woven into these rela­tion­ships are con­flicts over inter-mar­riage, chil­dren of inter-mar­riage, ortho­dox vs. sec­u­lar obser­vance, gen­der choice, career paths, friend­ship and immi­grant aspirations. 

Howard Rosen­baum, a stu­dio exec­u­tive, encour­ages his wife, Anne, an accom­plished lit­er­a­ture schol­ar, to start a book club. Her book selec­tions are bril­liant and her dis­cus­sion skills are pen­e­trat­ing. Using clas­sic lit­er­a­ture as the lens through which all is exam­ined, the club becomes the in group, a touch­stone, and an engine for Hol­ly­wood deci­sion mak­ing. Anne’s suc­cess is per­son­al­ly empow­er­ing but sur­pris­ing­ly dis­rup­tive to her long and healthy mar­riage. Ulti­mate­ly, in a stun­ning per­for­mance, orches­trat­ed to reach out to her cri­sis-rid­den, beloved hus­band, she deliv­ers a rad­i­cal opin­ion of Jew­ish polit­i­cal and reli­gious ide­ol­o­gy. It is an enor­mous risk. Agree or not, it is well worth the read. Source notes.

Pen­ny Metsch, MLS, for­mer­ly a school librar­i­an on Long Island and in New York City, now focus­es on ear­ly lit­er­a­cy pro­grams in Hobo­ken, NJ.

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