A thrilling new novel exploring how memory shapes the soul, by "an astonishing storyteller."
Software prodigy Josie Ashkenazi has invented a program that records everything its users do. When an Egyptian library invites her to visit as a consultant, her jealous sister Judith persuades her to go. But in Egypt's post-revolutionary chaos, Josie is kidnapped - leaving Judith free to usurp her sister's life, including her husband and daughter, while Josie's talent for preserving memories becomes her only hope of escape.
A century earlier, Solomon Schechter, a Cambridge professor, hunts for a medieval archive hidden in a Cairo synagogue. What he finds will reveal the power and danger of the world Josie's work brings into being - a world where nothing is ever forgotten.
Interweaving stories from Genesis, medieval philosophy, and the digital frontier, A Guide for the Perplexed is a spellbinding tale sure to bring a vast new listener to the acclaimed work of Dara Horn.
©2013 Dara Horn (P)2013 AudioGO
I have very much enjoyed Dara Horn's other books and even attended a writing conference where she spoke and so I was really looking forward to this novel. I plowed through it, hoping that my opinion would change, but it did not. I could not connect with any of the characters and did not feel that the Josie/Judy saga ended with the spiritual insight of the Joseph story. Instead, it seemed more like an outlandish soap opera. In addition, the three parallel plots did not meld well together and moving from one to the other felt jarring. I was really interested in Maimonides and the Guide for the Perplexed, but was disappointed that this was not explored with greater depth (ie: Josie toying with these philosophical concepts at greater length). I suspect a better editor would have helped to make this a more powerful piece of writing. I usually like Carrington MacDuffie, but I think she was miscast for this book.
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