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My Name is Asher Lev

Wow.

I loved the way My Name is Asher Lev explores art and the compulsion to create. I believed its portrayal of an observant Jewish family in Brooklyn in the mid-twentieth century. I like that it tackles the way that certain callings/gifts/occupations are viewed from within a religious community, and how the greatest gifts can also be the greatest threats. This sacred-secular divide is one that exists far too frequently and is challenged far too infrequently. Although I can't say, if I were one of the Rebbe's people, where I would have fallen after the big exhibition. Sacrilege is something I do not want to be accused of.

(I have to stop here, or this will turn into an essay...each of these books is fuel for extensive thought & discussion on important subjects, which is why I love literature. But I feel the need to hold back.)

In terms of style, I thought Asher Lev had a believable and endearing voice. The confusion of a child who doesn't quite understand what is going on around or within him, the growing confidence of what defines him, and the deep tension that realization causes.

Yup, it's a winner.

Rating: 9.5/10

In other literary news, I have decided to forgo Surfacing and in its place have picked up The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I can't bring myself to tackle the non-fiction yet. I'm too busy soaking in all these stories.

Comments

steph said…
you are a reading machine!
where are you spending your va-cay?
A said…
Yay. I'm glad you liked it.
Katie V. said…
Whoa books. you are a speed reading queen. I'm curious what you think of the Book Thief, it is on my long list but I have heard very mixed reviews.
Beth said…
steph: i am...i can't help it. and i am in saskatoon - random, i know. but free from obligations and hosted by the alms (including kirsten)...it's quite lovely.

a: you bet i did :) any more recommendations?

katie: coming up...

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