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Monday, August 20, 2012
The Romance Reader
The Romance Reader By Pearl Abraham This novel is told by Rachel Benjamin. It is the mid 1970's. She is one of seven children growing up just outside NYC in a chassidic family. She is the eldest, the most rebellious and most curious. She loves her family dearly and shares all her dreams with her sister Leah. But Rachel admits "This is why people shouldn't read." She and Leah read voraciously. They steal, borrow and secretly obtain a library card. They live in worlds outside of their own through these books. In their community this is not allowed. They are not to read English books and admire the lives of non Jews. But they do. And as Rachel approaches 17, the age where girls are matched and married off to start their own families, she questions everything she is intended to be and loses herself in the process. These feisty spirited girls are enjoyable characters and this novel is a pleasure to read. The girls remain in the readers mind long after the book ends. Highly recommend.