Sisters Marjorie and Holly Burke used to be best friends, before Marjorie got wrapped up in her dissertation and Holly converted to Orthodox Judaism—specifically, the orthodoxy practiced by a little-known sect called the Berukhim Penitents—to marry Nathan, with whom Marjorie immediately clashed. Growing up in suburban New Jersey, the sisters would listen to their grandfather Eli’s bedtime stories of the White Magician, a bearded wizard with piercing blue eyes. Years later, in the days following Eli’s funeral, Marjorie finds a marbled notebook filled with hastily scrawled writing in his hand. Its contents—part folktale, part biography—launch her on a full-tilt investigation of the notebook’s main character, the White Rebbe. In the process, Marjorie also learns about the Angel of Losses, whom the Rebbe is doomed to repay, and her grandfather’s secret past. Gradually, external forces humble Holly and Marjorie, paving the way for their reconciliation. This impressive debut from Feldman is a page-turner that celebrates sisterly love. Agent: Seth Fishman, Gernert Company. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/09/2014 Release date: 07/01/2014 Genre: Fiction
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