Rachael's Reviews > The Ladies Auxiliary

The Ladies Auxiliary by Tova Mirvis
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's review
Nov 04, 2009

really liked it
Read in November, 2009

I really, really liked this thoughtful novel. It's about orthodox Jews in Memphis, dealing with their rebellious teenager daughters and a single-mom that moves into their neighborhood. I am not sure that everyone would agree with me, but I felt like Mirvis did a beautiful job of portraying their religious convictions in a positive light. She brings up important questions - how to raise children in a strict religion, finding the right balance between limits and encouraging personal conversion and experience. I love, love, LOVE the plural first person Mirvis used. It's really powerful to consider how the "we" in our communities function and react. I loved that there was so much discussion of keeping the meaning in religious rites rather than going through the thoughtless motions of observance. I loved the theme of how much easier it can become to do the outward actions of discipleship than to teach your heart to love, trust, forgive and give the benefit of the doubt. Really, I thought this book was a gem. It might be a little didactic at times and not really a page turner in the typical sense, but the richly drawn characters are real and there is an emotional depth to the story that pulled me in. I'd be curious to hear what others think of it!

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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Reising Great review Rachael. Have you read "The Outside World" by the same author? My book club reviewed it last month and much of what you noted in your review applies to it as well... only it's about love, courtship and marriage within the framework of meaningful religious beliefs and practices. I liked it very much and saw MANY parallels to our own LDS culture. Now you've encouraged me to pick up "The Ladies Auxiliary" as well!

Leisy we are reading this book this month for book club and I'm just starting it! I'm excited to finish.

Rachael This is a GREAT pick for book club, Leisy! I think there is a lot to talk about. You'll have to tell me what the group thinks of it.

Lisa, I have "the Outside World" from the library on my nightstand - I think I'll read something else between and pick it up next. I'm looking forward to it!

Donna I'll make a point to read it. My friend Sharon also recommended it.

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