Check out these two new general fiction books that will inspire you and make you laugh (and think).
By Naomi Ragen, St. Martin’s Press, September 24, 2019, 336 pages
Leah Howard, known as Lola to her mother and anyone else who knew her before she decided to adopt an orthodox Jewish lifestyle, just wants to fit in. And for Leah, fitting in means finding an orthodox husband. Rabbi Weintraub breaks the news to her gently, his women’s studies program caters to a younger set. At 34, Leah, with her secular background (even though her mother was born into a Jewish household), has little hope of marrying into the orthodox set.
Nevertheless, the rabbi has compassion for Leah and finds a family for her to live with in the Boro Park neighborhood of Brooklyn and a part-time job helping the school with social media and marketing. At last, Leah has found a community where she can turn her life around, make restitution for the harm she caused at her last job, and hopefully find a faithful man to marry.
Yaakov Lehman has five children and he fears his pious life killed his first wife. His life feels like a disaster—laundry everywhere, loan obligations and no income to repay them, and dishes piled higher than the Statue of Liberty. Maybe he should follow his mother-in-law’s advice and visit a matchmaker. Although he just turned 40, the cares of the world make him feel ten years older.
What hope does he have of finding a righteous wife who doesn’t carry the burden of a bitter divorce? And a mate who will support him in his religious studies while caring for and loving his five children? It seems impossible.
Why You’ll Love This General Fiction Book
An Unorthodox Match hooks the reader and reels them in with a plot replete with flashbacks, twists, turns, and false hopes. Ragen weaves Yiddish skillfully into the narrative so that the reader never feels completely lost during conversations between the colorful characters.
I grew up loving books by Chaim Potok and yearned for the simple life of an orthodox Jew in a tight-knit community. Ragen gives the outsider-moving-in version of Judaism from a woman’s perspective. In doing so, she helps the reader understand that all religious communities have their woes, their hypocrites, and their true believers.
Rachel Linden, Thomas Nelson, July 9, 2019, 336 pages.
Mia West has her life figured out. Although she’s 26, she knows that any day her college sweetheart will propose and they can start the ideal life they planned together. She as a pastry chef, he as an Internet start-up genius. They’ll live the perfect life together in Seattle in a Craftsman home near Greenlake.
What happens instead shreds her plans. Ethan has the ring, the romantic spot, but not the commitment to pop the question. He claims he needs time away. Within the week, Mia finds life as she knew it crumbling like a week-old cookie.
On a whim, she embarks on a humanitarian adventure with her roommate Rosie, who helps her create a little white lie during her interview. What she doesn’t bargain for is the power of the trip to shake up her world and make her reconsider her passions and how they fit into the bigger picture. Can a gal change the world as ‘just a pastry chef?’
While her heart slowly heals from Ethan, she finds herself attracted to Kai, one of her teammates on the adventure. As each their trip and training unfold, Mia questions whether flipping pancakes in Mumbai will really make a difference. When their team gets called to Hungry to help out with the refugee crisis, Mia’s little white lie catches up to her and she finds herself assisting the refugee camp doctor.
She also doesn’t bargain for her grandma’s ability to use Twitter (nor the embarrassing tweets she sends out). Nor does she think her grand adventure would spark a change in her bee-farmer parents.
By the end of the trip, Mia returns to Seattle with a plan she never imagined, but one that feeds her soul.
Who Will Enjoy this General Fiction Book?
Everyone from Millennials to those battling a mid-life crisis will enjoy the message of this book. Readers will also think long and hard about humanitarian efforts and our place as Christians in supporting them (or just dedicating ourselves to humanitarian endeavors at home).These new releases from #NaomiRagen and #RachelLinden will keep you enthralled in two different worlds. #amreading #bookreview Click To Tweet