Sunday, September 06, 2015

2015 book 214

Sigal Samuel's The Mystics of Mile End
Samuel's debut novel is delightfully Jewish. It's set in a Hasidic neighborhood in Montreal, and deals with a slightly dysfunctional family (and some friends and neighbors) and their varying relationships with Judaism and with kabbalah--not to mention with each other. I really enjoyed the brother-sister relationship at the heart of this book, though found some of the secondary characters to be a little underdeveloped, and particularly wished that their mother was less of a cipher. I also didn't entirely buy the sister's motivation for her spiritual journey, but found her experiences to be effective. It's generally a really engaging story, and I liked the ending. I am not sure how much non-Jews (or non-religion-nerds) will get, but maybe the human relationships will carry them through? A-/B+.

A review copy was provided by the publisher. This book will be released in October.

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