Lovingkindness

Anne Richardson Roiphe, Author Summit Books $18.45 (279p) ISBN 978-0-671-64079-8
Roiphe's (Up the Sandbox) intriguing new novel takes on the issues of religious fundamentalism, parent-child relationships, feminism and other challenges of contemporary life. Narrator and single parent Annie Johnson is a political scientist and teacher, and an assimilated Jew. She is appalled when her alienated, rebellious daughter decides to live in the narrow community of an Israeli orthodox yeshiva, which to Annie represents regression and fanaticism. In the sanctuary of the Bruria Yeshiva, Andrea claims to have found spiritual peace and a direction for her life, even to the point of accepting an arranged marriage. Annie, who is of a generation that looks to psychiatrists rather than to God for answers, and whose aspirations for her daughter stressed intellectual accomplishment and independence, is forced to examine her own cherished beliefs and values. She is helped in this search by a series of dreams in which an old rabbi poses symbolic riddles. Though initially effective, the dream device is overworked and the narrative is robbed of momentum. In other respects, however, the story rings true, especially in reflecting the heartache that ensues when a child repudiates parents, culture and homeland. By turns caustic and lyrical, the novel gives full expression to the ambiguities of the situation, adding a modern dimension to the age-old debate between faith and reason. Major ad/promo; author tour. (August 26)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-446-67388-4
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