Sara Wiederblank: Just Between Friends

Sara Wiederblank ì 6 Free read

Rall assumption that this lifestyle is the best one and therefore worth sacrificing for and it would have been nice to have seen of a vote for the other side if for nothing other than balance But I do understand that this wasn t the author s attitude or point though it is mine In eeping with that the characters ask their rabbis freaking everything such as the infertile couple debating whether or not once something finally works to have the amnio test since there are already signs that the fetus might have a disorder and they are told not to and I Grumpy, Frumpy, Happy, Snappy A Silly Monster Opposites Book know that this is true to life and probably the author s outlook it was still maddening to meMy main criticism of the work ideology aside is the writing I was right that Wiederblank is smart and the writing is if nothing else rich with sophisticated language a far cry from the usual simple sentences as well as plots in this genre But high vocab does not a story make and this felt like a detached essay than a novel The characters were shaped by their conflicts rather than the reverse Everyone sounded the same and felt like vehicles for exploring issues than people I would meet let alone want toThat being said she raised the issue of couples therapy something Shifra balks out until she learns that normal people need it too as well as some of the darker truths of simply being human jealousy passive aggressive ego issues I was certainly engaged by the issues and was curious how everything would get resolved since another critiue of course everything wouldI remember directing plays in an Orthodox camp and after a few runs of Anne of Green Gables and The Little Princess I was told that we had to use Orthodox plays because your plays are entertaining but where is meaning The inspiration I was really bugged by the implication that an evening of entertainment is not its own worthy cause not to mention insulted as an artist for having to now direct a truckload of whiny out of touch syrupy plays But reading this book was the first time that I understood where that camp director was coming from This novel dipped into the lessernown but super common details of religious life and while the ending was neat tied things up in a way that presented an outlook of learning from mistakes and recognizing where we share responsibility for how our lives turn out And while I am eually happy reading something darker this was something that felt just a touch uplifting and I give the author udos for that as wellFor a normal book this would probably get two stars for its undeveloped and interchangeable characters and heavy reliance on conflicts to drive the story but for what it is it deserves a solid four So we end with three and my faith is somewhat restored in the future of Orthodox fiction. Ere not exactly in the plans As each friend navigates the complexities of life she must confront her pain and problems with wisdom grace and faith Each one has made her own choice Each one must discover the truth on her own.

Es respect for her husband Meir because he does not live up to her expectations and as she is expecting her first child the marriage frays filled with sniping comments and threats of divorce One particularly well executed moment was when Shifra nags Meir to take out a holy book and learn rather than just sit around and his response is why don t you Meir is by no means a jerk or a bad husband as much as he gets fed up with his demanding and sarcastic wife something that felt real and worthy of sympathyFinally there is Nava who at 25 is still single which surprises everyone because she is pretty and from a well off home But Nava is rather full of herself and frankly not very likable and so she shoots down guy after guy until she meets a handsome man worthy of her attention only to discover that he actually isn t very niceThe strengths in this book are probably pretty obvious to an insider these conflicts are not only very relatable but also rarely discussed Women are meant to shoulder a huge amount of burdens and do it with a smile the men get off rather easy in terms of housework certainly let alone having to go out to work and this can set young women up for much disappointment And tension in marriage is another thing that while certainly common does not get as much press as it should as 19 20 year olds who have never left home let alone talked one on one with a man are suddenly expected to make a marriage work nowing their spouse for a whopping four months prior to marriage I also appreciated the somewhat meta moment when a character reads an Orthodox novel and puts it down in disgust commenting that books that pretend that everyone is happy calm and successful all the time in the challenging vicissitudes of Orthodox life are just doing a disservice to the community Self serving to this author as this was I couldn t help but feel a right on sister momentIt is somewhat a credit to the work as well as a critiue that I wish the author had done Each woman is blessed with an intact supportive family who swoops in when the baby sitter can t make it or the twins are in the hospital How would this picture look in a realistic setting wherein family support is thin or comes with strings In addition while having a focused husband who even when home may as well not be is frustrating so is the coupon clipping and hand me downs and government programs that couples in this lifestyle generally rely on and this was barely touched on And even when Bracha has had it and the unthinkable her husband working becomes a real conversation no one addresses the fact that law school or actuarial exams still mean a significant amount of time before the badly needed paycheck In addition whatever conflicts did arise were couched in the ove. Now with graduation behind them they begin plotting their futures laughing and teasing confident that life will play out like their perfectly planned scripts Fast forward seven years later Four women facing realities that

I need to set up several disclaimers here First this is a book written by an Orthodox insider and targeted specifically for same Therefore there is not even an attempt made to explain the nuances and catch phrases of a specific culture replete with rules and will likely not appeal to a mainstream audience the way say a Tova Mirvis book may Second I don t generally read these Tug Hill Country kinds of novels finding them to be poorly written and agenda driven often whitewashing real problems and presenting a skewed version of the Orthodox world However Inow of the author and that she is supremely smart and so over the weekend while staying at someone s home who has only these Dragon Ball Anime Comics, Vol. 2 kinds of books available I figured I would try this one since it was bound to be better written than the usual And so I guess my final disclaimer is that this book was really impressive relative to its genre whereas on its own not as muchThe novel takes on four women who were in a tight cliue in high school each one imagining how her life would turn out by the time she was twenty five True to the Orthodox particularly the very right wing sect that this book depicts they each assume they will be married with children by then with husbands who are immersed in Talmud studyFast forward to that age and we have Bracha one of my favorite conflicts in the novel who is living the dream in that she snagged the top student in the top yeshiva super smart and devoted to learning She has two littleids and works full time finding that she is actually relieved to leave the house every day but frustrated that her house is always gross and she can never make any normal food But than that she harbors a uiet and shameful disappointment that her great catch of a husband is so busy studying Talmud that he never helps around the house and doesn t even seem to notice her things no one bothered mentioning when she was mapping out her life Now she is expecting twins and rather than feel the elation that her husband for whom this will have little impact feels she is terrified and stressed outChana Rivka is married five years but with no children this was one of the weaker threads for while the author addresses some of what this brings in a family oriented community she really doesn t delve nearly enough into how this could impact her character socially let alone her marriage A stronger story line was Shifra who has married another full time learner but she is disappointed that he is a slacker and not as serious as say Bracha s husband and because it is rather gauche for women in this community to complain about their marriages and especially in the context of living such a sanctioned lifestyle Shifra has no idea that in some ways marrying a slacker can be a good thing Shifra los. A PENETRATING NOVEL THAT MIRRORS OUR LIVESA POWERFUL STORY ABOUT OUR DEEPEST RELATIONSHIPSThey were four women who had it all planned… What could go wrong It was always just the four of them sharing every moment and dream.

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