by Talia Carner
$14.00, 464 pp.
Review by Wisteria
Strong women heroines who defy the expectations and gender limits that define their culture amaze and often inspire. If not for women who question their place, seek to achieve more and refuse to accept the status quo, the world would be static and dull. Generic role models provide fine examples and offer direction, but what about those women who question and seek more?
Jerusalem Maiden is a sensitive and poignant novel about Esther Kaminsky, an Ultra-Orthodox woman who lives in Jerusalem. Her lifelong conflict between her expected role and her desire to fulfill her artistic passion is arduous and painful. Her future is God’s will, a script that leaves no room for improvisation. She is expected to marry, produce sons with the hope that she will deliver the Messiah. One day, her French teacher notices her sketches have promise. From then on she secretly takes art lessons as her religious dogma wavers. The stage is now set for an enormous fissure of faith that will become a defining struggle for Esther.
Talia Carner’s prose is expressive and flows with ease. The setting is imaginatively realized with a photographer’s eye. Esther will be remembered as a tangible heroine with an indomitable presence. Easily, a top pick for 2011. Highly recommended.
Book provided by Library Thing. (Early Reviewers)
© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2008-2011].