Posts Tagged ‘Fasting Feasting’

Family Values

Sunday, 3 August 2008

No crocheting this week, as it’s the Nine Days, so the books have it, I’m afraid! As I suspected, all I now want to do is crochet, but I can’t, so there it is.

224. Fasting, Feasting by Anita Desai

There are two quite distinct stories here, but they do tie together. The first part shifts around in time, gradually charting the unchanging life of Uma and her parents in their small town in India, with its few highs and lows, while the second (shorter) part tells of one specific summer in the life of Arun, her younger brother, as he stays with an American family between his first and second years at university.

Every time it has seemed Uma might get away, live her own life, whether as wife, worker, or anything else, she ends up being brought home, to the pleasure of no-one, and is now stuck looking after her parents for the coming decades. Arun is expected to have that life, but just wants to get away from everyone. Even though his father, like his host, is horrified at his vegetarianism, his own family does not have the disfunctional relationship with food (and each other) that they do, but even though he has a real experience with the Pattons, while Uma drifts through another summer of frustration and disappointment, I amn’t convinced either sibling is all that changed.

225. Planting & Building: Raising a Jewish Child by Rabbi Shlomo Wolbe

So, no, I don’t have children, and I don’t have any reason to expect them soon (ie a spouse), and this isn’t even the first time I’ve read this book. The fact is, my Rabbi told me to read it (and reread it), as a framework for planning how I want to bring up my children one day, as it’s an important factor in choosing a husband. I think he’s right. Rabbi Keleman has translated the book beautifully clearly, as one would expect.

226. Coming Home: 20 Glimpses from the Road of Return in Modern America compiled by Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Horowitz

The Bostoner Rebbe has been supporting students at the universities in Boston for decades, as well as people of all ages who have come his way, and here he has compiled the stories of twenty of them who became Orthodox Jews. I enjoyed reading these thoughtful appraisals and retellings of the varied journeys of some very interesting people.

Niccolo Rising chapter 6 shows us the Charetty family reunion, as the Widow returns, sweeping her daughters Tilde and Catherine along with her, and her unruly males back to work.

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