Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Loves of Judith: A Novel” as Want to Read:
The Loves of Judith: A Novel
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Loves of Judith: A Novel

by
4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  440 ratings  ·  51 reviews
A woman with three loves and a son with three fathers: a universal story of passion and personal destiny by the award-winning author of A Pigeon and a Boy.

When the mysterious Judith arrives in a small agricultural village in Palestine in the 1930s, she attracts attention of three men: Moshe, a widowed farmer; Globerman, a wealthy cattle dealer; and Jacob, who loses his wif
...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published August 28th 2012 by Schocken (first published January 1st 1994)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Loves of Judith, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Loves of Judith

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 780)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Roberto
“C’è chi sostiene che lo scopo di ogni storia sia quello di mettere ordine nella realtà e c’è chi dice invece che ogni storia nasce solo e soltanto per rispondere a delle domande”.

Tutto il romanzo ruota intorno a Yehudit, una donna abbandonata dal marito in seguito al suo tradimento e privata di sua figlia. In seguito a ciò Yehudit tenta di ricostruirsi una vita; tre uomini rimarranno affascinati dalla sua semplicità e dal suo carattere e si innamoreranno di lei, contemporaneamente, senza riusci
...more
Adina
I don't know if you will love this book, but everything about Shalev's voice, his the world he describes and his ideas of love and magic wove a poetic world that was a pleasure to inhabit. I dragged out this reading because I didn't want to leave.
Zdenka
I have discovered this book when browsing and I was intrigued by the comparison to Marquez and Murakami (both authors I appreciate greatly) in the reviews. The title of the book, and the synopsis - this is a story of a boy who has three fathers - instantly caught my interest.

This is a first time ever I have read a book by an Israeli author and I have liked it a lot - so much that I am going to look up and read his other books too. I don't want to give no spoilers, but this is a very human story
...more
Joni Cornell
This is a charming and rather mysterious story of Zayde, his mother Judith and the three men who loved her, one of whom could possibly be Zayde’s father, though Jacob tells us that if a woman wants a child, sometimes she can make herself pregnant without a man. The four meals made by Jacob, staggered over the course of Zayde’s life, begin with the first invitation when Zayde is 12. Jacob cooks a lavish meal, usually finished off with Zabaglione, while he consumes a fairly modest one of salad and ...more
Cathy
I was in love with Jacob's voice -- so plain, yet so poetic, and I also loved the descriptions of animals and country life lived close to the ground. The recursive structure wherein Zayde returns to Jacob's house four times to learn more about his dead mother is clever and keeps the story moving where it might otherwise drift; don't expect a conventional plot, however; this feels more like a fairytale -- an old fashioned one that grew in odd directions before it got written down and which the et ...more
Marie-Paule
Dat Meir Shalev een begenadigd verhalenverteller is, bewijst hij keer op keer, dus ook met dit boek.

'Volgens sommigen heeft elk verhaal als doel orde aan te brengen in de werkelijkheid. Niet alleen een ordening van tijden, maar ook van graden van belang', schrijft Shalev aan het begin van hoofdstuk 10 (Eerste maaltijd). Wie kan hem ongelijk geven? Zeker als hij in hoofdstuk 6 (Derde maaltijd) zelf beweert dat 'ook leugenaars best weten dat de waarheid en verzinsel niet elkaars tegenpolen zijn.
...more
Wendy van Deurzen
Oct 09, 2014 Wendy van Deurzen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Wendy by: Cadeautje van Jan en Hilde
Shelves: read-2014
Ik maakte in het begin de fout om het boek te snel te lezen omdat ik het verhaal 'zocht', en kon niet goed begrijpen waarom het zo'n goed boek moest zijn. Gelukkig herpakte ik me, en begon ik echt te genieten van de zalig mooi geschreven zinnen (petje af voor de vertaler!), en een ontwapenend verhaal dat je in een traagheid moet lezen om er ten volle van te genieten. Voor mij absoluut een boek dat ik eens wil herlezen!
Ellen
I had to work hard to push myself through this book. Khaya was annoyed by the lack of a plot--a sentiment I agree with--and I was also bothered by the lack of characters. Yes, there are characters, but they aren't real people. They are archetypes. The book is a fable. If you are happy with fables, you'll probably enjoy it, since Shalev's writing is beautiful (if more than a bit repetitive). But i like a real story, with real characters and a plot. So this wasn't for me. 2.5 stars that I am round ...more
Telans
Эту книгу написал самый настоящий поэт и мудрец. Из тех, что были в древности, и давно перевелись под этим небосводом, словно дождевая туча полным непридуманных историй, которые некому рассказать. В нём есть что-то от Гомера и древнегреческих рапсодов, что-то от сказителей славянских былин и легенд Дикого Запада, но самое главное - в нем очень много человечности, любви и спокойной мудрости, той которая не навязывает себя с видом заправского гуру или истины в последней инстанции, а просто освещае ...more
Judith
I read this book in a most masterful Spanish translation by Ana Maria Bejarano Escanilla, with whom I have since corresponded. Spanish title is _Por amor a Judit_. Set in rural Israel, in the years before its inhabitants had forgotten the art of coexistence, the book weaves incidents in a spiralling way, punctuated with elements of magical realism and Jewish folklore. Characters are clearly drawn and language is extremely rich - I wonder how the English translator dealt with it...
Кремена Михайлова

„Исав“ на Меир Шалев ми хареса много повече като „цялостност“. Но тази книга си струваше заради езика - като гъстия сок на смокиня (като споменах смокиня – не мога да не се сетя за Никос Казандзакис, има нещо от неговата „сочност“ в книгата); заради различното виждане за любовта (view spoiler); заради връзката
...more
Leka
Non è che mi abbia entusiasmato il mio (primo) incontro con Shalev.
E non so se ce ne sarà, a breve, un secondo.

Però mi è capitata una "cosa" stranissima: leggo prevalentemente al parco (soprattuto all'Indipendence Park) perché è il posto più tranquillo per me in questo periodo. Ecco, ero lì seduta su una panchina (non sono ancora così un'abitué da averne una mia per preferenza) e nel libro c'era scritto della passione del protagonista per l'osservazione dei corvi e di come, quando studiava a Ge
...more
Janet
I really liked this book, more so as time passes, even though while I was reading it I could hardly wait for it to end. It was very lyrical and although I appreciate Shalev's style I did tire of it and wanted more concreteness. I have now lived in Israel for 9 years and find that I recall a lot of his descriptions of people and life here and they make me nod in agreement. His depictions of the ever present crows made me really smile. I notice crows more now. Unfortunately I couldn't get into Jud ...more
Caroline
Meir Shalev and his poetry! Meir Shalev and his beautiful writing! Meir Shalev and his engaging, atypical characters!

This "Four Meals" is the second book I read by this author. Being really caught by my first one took me time, but the narration refused to let me go once I began to appreciate the reading. Actually, I fell in love. It wasn't a love at first sight; I rather needed a moment to meet and to discover both of the writer and the writing. At the end of the day, I couldn't put the book bac
...more
Maria

Een fantastische verhalenverteller is Shalev in dit boek over Zejde en zijn moeder Judith. Zejde heeft drie vaders en leert van iedere vader iets. Over de liefde, over vrouwen, koken, koeien, de natuur, het noodlot en vooral hoort hij heel veel verhalen van ze. De maaltijden uit de titel verwijzen naar de etentjes (met tientallen tussenjaren) waarvoor Zejde uitgenodigd wordt door één van de vaders: Jakob Sjenfeld. Tijdens deze etentjes vertelt Jakob zijn levensverhaal.
De ankers voor zijn roman g
...more
Tory
Usually I like absurdity in a novel, but this was poorly... something. It never felt quite right. It was inappropriate absurdity.

I'm not sure if it's because the book was translated, or if that's actually how the man speaks... but good freakin' lord. People don't speak like that. The language made it nearly unreadable for me. And the foreign words thrown in for the most ridiculous things. Words that weren't recognizable or meaningful to me in any way, as a reader. In the end, I'm leaning toward
...more
K
Note to Israeli authors (or at least the ones my Hebrew book club leader keeps choosing): A premise, no matter how strange or far-reaching, does not equal a plot. And while I’d love to be one of those lofty, intellectual, postmodern readers who truly believe that novels don’t need plots, I’m just not.

I appreciate great writing. I appreciate characterization. I can even appreciate occasional mini-digressions into charming anecdotes that don’t necessarily move the story along. But at the end of t
...more
Rotem
There is no denying that Meir Shalev is a phenomenal writer and storyteller. Unfortunately I didn't find this book to reach my expectations of character development and just general interest. I find this book quite repetitive and the really engaging and important part of the story and its climax arrived terribly late (the last 40 or so pages) I would recommend skipping this book and just go ahead and read his truly magnificent, known, pieces.
Kalen
** 1/2

Oh, I wanted to like this one more. I wanted to love it, actually. Shalev's "My Russian Grandmother and Her American Vacuum Cleaner" was one of my favorite books last year. This one fell flat for me though, and I can't help but wonder if it wasn't due in part to the translation. (I credited the translator, Evan Fallenberg, in my review of that book--he was brilliant.) It just didn't have the same smooth perfection that MRGaHAVC did.

The Loves of Judith is written in a style reminiscent of
...more
Hermien
I loved the way this story was told, almost in circles slowly getting to the crucial point.
It is the story of the love of three men for one woman, the mother of their son. The story covers 30 odd years, from the twenties to the fifties and takes place in a village in the Yizrael valley. The woman is Judith and the men are: Moshe Rabinovitz, a strong silent widowed farmer in whose stable she lives, the cattle dealer Gluberman, and Yakov Scheinfeld, expert in cooking, sewing, charming and dance.
...more
Anna
Een prachtig boek over de gevolgen van liefde.

In dit boek is liefde concreet aanwezig: als een kind van jou houdt, en jij van het kind, dan ben je familie en is het de normaalste zaak van de wereld dat het kind zich niet door zoiets achterlijks als genetica laat tegenhouden om sprekend op je te gaan lijken. (En als je drie vaders hebt omdat zij allemaal allesverzengend van je moeder hielden, dan lijk je logischerwijs op alledrie.)

Als je al je liefde in een papieren bootje stopt en een meisje ha
...more
Jolieg G
Een schitterend boek en zooooo mooi beschreven dat je het "verhaal" voor je ziet.
Ga zeker meer boeken van deze auteur lezen.
Shereen Henry
Too slow and no real storyline so unfortunately I've given up half way through. I'm sure it is the great book that everybody who's read it thinks it is, but it's not for me. It's a shame because the characters are so lovable.
Miriam
Ploughed through this on a vacation. Not sure I would have kept with it if other books had been around. There were many intriguing elements, and the language and often digressive storytelling are beautiful, but too much is left up in the air for my taste. I got no sense of Judith herself--only of other people's feelings for and reactions to her. The book moves slowly until the last fifty pages when everything climaxes and then comes to a complete stop. I didn't quite know if I wanted more or les ...more
Maria Shaul
"So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her."

A story about a boy, his mother and 3 fathers in the middle of 20-th century, in little village in north Israel.
I love Meir Shalev's writing, his hebrew, his story telling.
This book is quite similar to "Russian roman" and also reminds "A pigeon and a boy" (both by Shalev), this I like less...
I also don't like Shalev's heros relations with their mothers, Freud could tell so much ab
...more
Naomi Jensen
This is the second of Shalev's books that I have read. The first one, A Pigeon and a Boy, was amazing, one of my favorite books ever. This one is not as good but still very good. Shalev uses imagery and magical realism to paint a picture of his setting, and funny, lovable, and quirky characters to draw the reader in to the story and keep them interested. I can understand why one of the readers said that it was hard to follow; I think it would be hard to read without knowing something about Israe ...more
Carolien
Het perfecte boek op het perfecte moment..
Kirby
I loved it while I was reading it and was thoroughly pulled in to the world he created. He's poetic - it's gorgeous language, but the plot falls short, as if he was missing five or six pages towards the end of the book. I was disappointed in the end, but it made me want to read his other books just to read that voice again.
Carole
Rings of old Shalom Alechiem stories. Follows the story of a boy who grows up not knowing which man is his father and the relationships he builds with all of them. Bits are revealed about his mother throughout the story. Endearing to see men who all want to claim the boy as their own.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 25 26 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • In the Land of Israel
  • Mr. Mani
  • The Zigzag Kid
  • Four Mothers: A Novel
  • Persian Brides: A Novel
  • Murder in Jerusalem (Michael Ohayon, #6)
  • Only Yesterday
  • Homesick
  • Beaufort
  • The Covenant
  • The Manor
  • Seasick Whale
  • Josephus (Josephus, #1)
104544
Meir Shalev is one of Israel’s most celebrated novelists. He has received many awards for his work, including the National Jewish Book Award and Israel’s Brenner Prize, both for A Pigeon and a Boy.

A columnist for the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, Shalev lives in Jerusalem and in northern Israel with his wife and children.

More about Meir Shalev...
A Pigeon and a Boy My Russian Grandmother and Her American Vacuum Cleaner: A Family Memoir The Blue Mountain Esau: A Novel פונטנלה

Share This Book