Posted by Naomi Firestone
We’ve been a bit slow lately in updating our book club resources, but we promise to bring a heavy dose to our website throughout the spring. To start you off…
Eve: A Novel (Elissa Elliott)
She is perhaps the most famous woman in the world. Now Eve comes to life in a powerful reinvention of her centuries—old tale. A feast for the imagination, Eve: A Novel of the First Woman unites myth, religion, and ancient history in a literary debut that explores some of our most deeply rooted questions about life and human nature. We meet an extraordinarily moving version of Eve on these pages. She is a mother and a wife, a woman who is both nurturing and sensual, courageous and wise. She endures life’s struggles and mysteries, longing to understand God’s will and haunted by the memories of the paradise she shared with Adam. As tragedy looms for her sons, readers experience a stirring depiction of the very nature of evil—and a boundless love that defeats it. Find Book Club Resources here.
36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction (Rebecca Newberger Goldstein)
After Cass Seltzer’s book becomes a surprise best seller, he’s dubbed “the atheist with a soul” and becomes a celebrity. He wins over the stunning Lucinda Mandelbaum, “the goddess of game theory,” and loses himself in a spiritually expansive infatuation. A former girlfriend appears: an anthropologist who invites him to join in her quest for immortality through biochemistry. And he is haunted by reminders of the two people who ignited his passion to understand religion: his mentor and professor—a renowned literary scholar with a suspicious obsession with messianism—and an angelic six-year-old mathematical genius who is heir to the leadership of a Hasidic sect. Each encounter reinforces Cass’s theory that the religious impulse spills over into life at large. Find Book Club Resources here.
A Woman in Jerusalem (A.B. Yehoshua; Hillel Halkin, trans.)
A woman in her forties is a victim of a suicide bombing at a Jerusalem market. Her body lies nameless in a hospital morgue. She had apparently worked as a cleaning woman at a bakery, but there is no record of her employment. When a Jerusalem daily accuses the bakery of “gross negligence and inhumanity toward an employee,” the bakery’s owner, overwhelmed by guilt, entrusts the task of identifying and burying the victim to a human resources man. This man is at first reluctant to take on the job, but as the facts of the woman’s life take shape-she was an engineer from the former Soviet Union, a non-Jew on a religious pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and, judging by an early photograph, beautiful-he yields to feelings of regret, atonement, and even love. Find Book Club Resources here.