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.