Amy's Reviews > You or Someone Like You

You or Someone Like You by Chandler Burr
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's review
Sep 01, 2010

did not like it

I'm surprised that this book was published. It's an interesting premise: what happens to a marriage when the husband returns to his Orthodox Jewish upbringing and leaves his non-Jewish wife behind. The author should've fleshed out that storyline and let us hear more from the husband, Howard, whose voice was nearly absent from the novel. As was the voice of Howard and Anne's son, Sam, whose experience in Israel apparently inspires his father's return to Orthodoxy.

If I read an early draft of this novel--and ultimately that's what the novel felt like, an early draft that should've been re-written several times--I would've recommended that the author minimize the whole "book club to the stars" premise of the book, and spend more time on the relationship between Howard and Anne by having more interactions between the couple (scenes, rather than long tangential memories of when they first met). There is way too much exposition in this book. And many of the scenes with Hollywood executives are implausible.

Also: this novel is deeply critical of Judaism and Israel in a way that made me uncomfortable. It seemed very strange to me that the author didn't spend more time letting the characters who are Jewish actually speak.
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03/11 marked as: read

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