Amy Lester's Reviews > The Promise

The Promise by Chaim Potok
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's review
Feb 08, 2009

really liked it
Read in March, 2009

I was anxious to pursue Danny and Reuven's characters in this sequel to The Chosen. After reading both books back to back, I can hardly remember where one started and the other stopped. These are not books that are fast-paced or "exciting", but you know you're encountering something of substance.

The Promise is the story of Reuven's turmoil over finding his place among Jewish fundamentalists, moderates, and liberals. Each position is well-represented by different characters and Reuven's dealings with each are informative. As always, Potok's writing enables the reader to feel sympathy and understanding for each position, even the ones with which you disagree. In the end, Reuven is able to forge his own way, while elevating the importance of respect and tolerance for the viewpoints of others.

I loved that the culmination of the debate between the ancient and the modern ended in the marriage of a Hasid (Danny) to a "twentieth-century girl". The concessions they made and would make to accommodate each other gave hope for the work Reuven would be undertaking.
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