Jana's Reviews > The Gift of Asher Lev

The Gift of Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
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's review
Nov 04, 2010

it was amazing
Read in July, 2010

I LOVED this book. I think everyone one who has read My Name is Asher Lev should read this book. It took me all summer to read, basically because it is the kind of book that you linger over. I savored reading it, and really didn't want to finish. Not only are the chapters beautifully written, but the storyline balances out the difficulties Asher faced in his youth. This is twenty years later, when he has a wife and 2 children, and is now returning to the U.S. It is about redemption, hope, and surviving both the peaks and valleys of life.

I am sure one of the reasons I love this book is because as an art historian, I am interested in understanding Asher's art and his quest to make it meaningful. I think though, in a broader sense, Asher's situation applies to anyone seeking to foster creativity and beauty in their lives and come to terms with day-to-day spirituality. How do we make sense of God's apparent absence? How do we go on in faithfulness despite the inexplicable evils/trials/difficulties? This is Asher's dilemma and Potok presents it thoughtfully--without cliched, empty answers, but with a underlying sense of the power of resilience and optimism.
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