Title Giving Up America
Book Condition Very Good+ in Very Good+ dust jacket
Edition First Edition; First Printing
Publisher New York RIVERHEAD BOOKS/PENGUIN PUTNAM 1998
151732212X / 9781517322120
Seller ID 6
Ships within 24 hours. Great Customer Service, 100% Money Back Guaranteed. We aim to please. Please e-mail for questions. Mylar and paper (Demco) protective cover. Dust jacket is intact with no nicks or tears. Spine has no signs of creasing. Pages are clean and not marred by notes or folds. Covers are shiny, square and without wear. ; Book Description Book Description Mylar and paper (Demco) protective cover. Dust jacket is intact with no nicks or tears. Spine has no signs of creasing. Pages are clean and not marred by notes or folds. Covers are shiny, square and without wear. Pearl Abraham's critically acclaimed first novel, The Romance Reader, follows a Hasidic girl caught between the strictures of tradition and the yearnings of her own heart. In her second book, the author tells a different kind of coming-of-age story: Giving Up America charts with heartbreaking assurance the disintegration of a marriage and the loss of faith that inevitably results. Like Abraham's first young heroine, Deena Binet grew up in a strict but loving Hasidic household. Yet when her family returned to Israel after a few years in the United States, Deena stayed behind, and since then has become nothing if not American. She works in advertising, learns to wear jeans and prides herself on remembering the names of rock bands. Even when she marries an Orthodox Jew, she does so against her father's wishes. A Hasidic scholar, he sees that the sum of the Hebrew letters of the couple's names equals the numerical value of the Hebrew word for pain, "which is what this marriage will bring you." Although her husband, Daniel, keeps kosher and observes the Sabbath, he does so "mechanically," with none of the joy that marked Deena's childhood religious celebrations: "What did remain were the things she couldn't do." Nonetheless, they have been together for seven years before trouble appears. In this case, trouble takes the form of a leggy blonde temp from Daniel's office, a Southern-accented would-be Miss America named Jill. She is, they agree, "fun," in a way none of their other friends are. Together with Jill and her friend Ann the couple tries skiing, takes up dancing--and then Daniel falls in love. As their relationship falls apart, so too does Daniel's attachments to the forms of his faith. He breaks the Sabbath, stops wearing his yarmulke, and starts eating shellfish: "He'd accept no burdens, not Jewishness, not marriage." Faced with the impending breakup, Deena must decide whether to retreat back into her past or forward into an unknowable future. Abraham's clear-eyed, unsentimental novel is, more than anything else, about that choice: between the safety of childhood and the uncertainty of independence, between the religious life and the secular world. Flying over the ocean on her way to visit her parents, Deena dreams of a ship with Daniel and all her American friends on it, pulling away and leaving her floating alone in the waves: "She had to save her strength and learn to live in the water. She would become a fish." In Giving Up America, Pearl Abraham draws a subtle and compassionate portrait of marriage, divorce, and a woman at sea. --Mary Park --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. Editorial Reviews Abraham's first novel, The Romance Reader (LJ 7/95) , was a word-of-mouth hit, attracting readers with its unusual tale of a young girl's rebellion against her Hasidic family. In Giving Up America, another young Hasidic woman is also caught between the traditions of her upbringing and the secular American world in which she chooses to live. When Deena decides to marry Daniel, a modern Orthodox Jew, her father predicts that the marriage is doomed. As the novel opens, the young couple, married for seven years, are restoring their newly purchased Brooklyn house. Everything seems idyllic, but when Daniel brings home two co-workers, Jill and Ann, the tiny cracks opening in their marriage rupture into large fissures. Deena suspects Daniel of having an affair with Jill, the Southern shiksa. Abraham is most effective in depicting the daily irritations that can breed contempt and kill a marriage, but the last third of the novel feels rushed and contrived. And most of her characters are flat and sketchily drawn; in particular, Jill is a cliche, the Jewish male fantasy that Philip Roth has used to greater effect in his novels. Still, Abraham is a compelling storyteller. ; 8.5 x 5.8 x 1.3 inches; 309 pages; Ships within 24 hours. Great Customer Service, 100% Money Back Guaranteed. We aim to please. Please e-mail for questions.