Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Next Year In Jerusalem by Barbara Becker Holstein ~ review

About Next Year in Jerusalem:
Holstein Next Year
Next Year in Jerusalem Book Tour
You may be wondering why I chose the title Next Year in Jerusalem! for my new novel.  Why not Forbidden Romance or Romantic Travel orSpiritual Awakenings or Lust, Memories and Old Friends on Facebook?  After all Natalie and Maggie are two women, both caught up in issues that many of us face: a somewhat dull but faithful husband; a bad marriage leading finally to a divorce; a desire for adventure; unsatisfied spiritual longings.  They have a great friendship with each other, something research keeps confirming, keeps us young and emotionally happy, but life is far from easy for either women.
So again, why would I focus on a strange title that comes out of a book written thousands of years ago?
Here is one of the reasons.  Next Year in Jerusalem! is actually a phrase that shows up at the end of the Haggadah.  Those of you who are not Jewish may wonder what that is.  The Haggadah is a book that the Jews have used for thousands of years to celebrate and relive the Passover experience.  Many people know that the central theme of the story is how the Jews, who were slaves in Egypt, were finally able to escape and began their long journey of 40 years to get to the promised Land, which was Israel.  However, what a lot of people don’t realize is that this theme is universal and can be taken metaphorically for all of us.  That is why when the Haggadah ends with the fourth glass of wine being drunk, and the words, Next Year in Jerusalem! the phrase becomes so significant.
My take on this book:
This is a book that was really a middle of the road read for me. I enjoyed the premise of the story, but had a difficult time connecting with the characters. That said there were several positives to the story. The rich detail pulled me in and made me feel like I was seeing the scenes unfold thru the eyes of the characters. Learning about the traditions of Jewish culture fascinated me. There was also a bit of a mystery that captured my attention and an ending that did leave this reader wanting more. Overall, a very quick read, that is visually  rich in detail, that made me feel like I had taken a trip to Jerusalem. I will certainly be watching for the next book in this series.
rating 3.5/5

1 comment:

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