The ultimate fish-out-of-water tale....
A child who never quite fit in, Rebecca Dana worshipped at the altar of Truman Capote and Nora Ephron, dreaming of one day ditching Pittsburgh and moving to New York, her Jerusalem. After graduating from college, she made her way to the city to begin her destiny. For a time, life turned out exactly as she’d planned: glamorous parties; beautiful people; the perfect job, apartment, and man. But when it all came crashing down, she found herself catapulted into another world. She moves into Brooklyn’s enormous Lubavitch community, and lives with Cosmo, a 30-year-old Russian rabbi who practices jujitsu on the side.
While Cosmo, disenchanted with Orthodoxy, flirts with leaving the community, Rebecca faces the fact that her religion - the books, magazines, TV shows, and movies that made New York seem like salvation - has also failed her. As she shuttles between the world of religious extremism and the world of secular excess, Rebecca goes on a search for meaning.
Trenchantly observant, entertaining as hell, a mix of Shalom Auslander and The Odd Couple, Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde is a thought-provoking coming-of-age story for the 21st century.
©2013 Rebecca Dana (P)2013 Penguin Audio
What a nice change of pace this book provides. It reads like fiction but purports to be true. The only shortcoming is that, like all true stories, there is no neat ending, so the listener is left wanting to know more about what happened to these people. The book is as interesting as the title.
The story was great but each event, thought, or experience was retold without - who, what, when, where, &/or how.
A possibly marvelous story would have made the grade if the 5 questions above were written into the story.
The characters and setting were almost interesting. If only reasons, background, history, or internal dialog were included. This book could have been so much more than it was. I was very disappointed
Chasidic Crown Heights is so different, interesting, and rife with stories and history I wanted this book to be more than it was. The storyteller was, for me, just the person to fill in all the blanks. Her non-observant Jewish background would have really been ideal for this but, I guess, it would have been a ten book tome rather than a single book.
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