Blessing and the Curse

Linda Bayer-Berenbaum, Author Jewish Publication Society of America $16.95 (221p) ISBN 978-0-8276-0309-7
The theme of this first novel is provocative: the troubling question of parenting without marriage. Moreover, professor of English Ida Morgan-Weiss, who bears a child out of wedlock, is herself the daughter of an unwed mother. When we meet her, Ida is divorcing, embarking upon a new job and settling down in Boston with an unmarried woman friend, who decides that single blessedness will not, for her, mean childlessness. Ida is too involved at that point with her married lover and her still inchoate plans to track down her natural mother in Israel to acknowledge her own longing for a child. Later, after the Israeli reunion and the vision of returning to Jerusalem with a daughter of her own, desire and fulfillment coalesce. Alone of all the characters depicted, Ida emerges live, warm and energetic. The book is thoughtful and ably written, but it does not address many of the serious problems involved in such a difficult decision: doubt, denial and inner struggle are subsumed in the final, sentimental slogan, ``Next year in Jerusalem.'' (June)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1988
Release date: 06/01/1988
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