I enjoyed the theology and being part of the world of Hendon for a bit very much. Not entirely sure I found the ending believable but also didn't feel like I really knew the characters all that well. (Maybe they didn't know themselves all that well either.) Now to watch the movie!
Excellent first novel, there are some differences between the book and the movie (surprise).
Read the book before you see the movie, if you can.
I found this an interesting reflection on God and his relationship with man. The only creature to be given choice, man has to struggle with obedience and the lure of disobedience. Ronit has lived in New York for many years, happy as a non-observant Jew, when she is notified that her estranged father, Rav Krushka, has passed away in his Orthodox Jewish community of Henden in London. Reluctantly, she returns to England to tie up his estate. Here she confronts her past and her relationship with her father and her ancestral faith, and the strictures she escaped when she went to America. This glimpse into the life of the rigorous Orthodox Jew reveals traditions that mainstream Jews have long given up. I liked and appreciated the construction of this novel. We have the thoughts of Ronit, then her childhood friend Esti, and then we are presented with Biblical verses and their interpretations. Those verses and the thoughts on them gave me a sense of what it must be like for students of the Torah as they debate the meanings of each word. Interesting stuff.
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