Filled with laughter and tears, author Pearl Abraham’s moving novel takes you behind the mysterious, closed doors of a Chassidic Jewish community in New York state. The Romance Reader is her absorbing tale of a headstrong, teenaged girl attempting to live in two worlds: one traditional, one modern. Since Rachel is the rabbi’s oldest child, everyone expects her to set a proper example for other young believers. But at night, after everyone is in bed, she hungrily reads books - forbidden books about romance and contemporary women. She wonders if the life she reads about in those pages actually exists. Do beautiful, daring women really travel alone? Can they choose their own gallant, broad-shouldered husbands? Soon Rachel’s search for answers clashes with the restrictive world she knows only too well. Having grown up in a Chassidic family enables Pearl Abraham to write with poignancy and authority about this intriguing, ultra-Orthodox lifestyle. Her sensitive story earned a chorus of praise from reviewers, and Library Journal named it a Best Book. With Suzanne Toren’s compelling narration, Rachel will become your friend, and you won’t want to say good-by.
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