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The Wayward Moon

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4.03  ·  Rating details ·  86 ratings  ·  23 reviews
"Set in the year 854, in a town called Sura (in modern day Iraq), Rahel, a 17-year-old Jewish girl, is handed an incredible burden. Instead of preparing to meet her fiancé for the first time, she will have to flee, leaving behind her intended, her home, possessions, and her identity. An enemy of her father has burst into her house and killed her father. Rahel has had to ki ...more
Paperback, 314 pages
Published August 28th 2012 by Yotzeret Publishing
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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Kathryn Jacobi
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Janice Weizman's historical novel about Rahel, A Jewish girl fighting for her life and her integrity in ancient Babylonia, is a gem. The care Weizman has taken in her research of the period sweeps the reader along with Rahel on her often frightening, yet inspiriting journey of survival and self-discovery. The characters, particularly Rahel herself, are real and full of emotion, yet this dramatic story never slips into melodrama. I recommend The Wayward Moon highly to anyone who likes historical ...more
Ellen
Sep 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I'm about halfway through this book, and I'm mad for it. I love the well told story, the beautiful prose and the sense of walking through history along with the protagonist. Not since Kristen Wolf's "The Way" has a book set in the historical middle east resonated with me so very much.
Sheyna Galyan
Aug 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: published
I've read this book at least a dozen times, seen it go through many incarnations, and I'm still captivated by the story. Absolutely a must-read!
Waheed Rabbani
Jan 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
In 894 AD in Buqei’a, a Jewish village in a remote corner of Galilee, the children of “a humble woman,” Rahel Yar, discover a hidden scroll after her funeral. It’s her memoir written in Syriac, the Christians’ language. While her sons initially want to burn it, they decide to read her heartbreaking life story.

Rahel is born in a magnificent city, Sura, south of Baghdad, during the Golden Age of Islam. Her widower father, an erudite physician, waits for Rahel to turn seventeen before f
...more
Marlene Chabot
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Janice Weizman writes a terrific historical fiction novel. She's an exceptional writer. She covers so much historical information brilliantly. A novel that draws you in and keeps you reading. The story starts off in Galilee, the year 894 A.D. at the funeral services for a Jewish woman known as Rahel Bat Yair. While cleaning out Rahel's home, a son of her's stumbles upon pages and pages of writing that pertain to the life of his mother. It's a life totally different from the one he was led to be ...more
Hope
Jun 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Loved the idea of how this book plays out, which I won't give away specifics about, except to say that when you think you know someone it might not be the whole truth of her life and experiences.

This follows the story of a Jewish girl in 854 Bagdad and includes Rahel's pondering differences between what she believes about her faith compared to what she finds muslims and christians believe as she survives the adventures of her life which play out following a murder. AND gives HER a vi
...more
Yosef Gotlieb
Nov 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In her depiction of the life of a young, ninth century Jewish woman attempting to navigate the perils of the religiously and communally fractious Middle East of that time, Janice Weizman succeeds in richly describing a period and an individual. Rahel's solitary journey speaks to timeless issues: claiming one's place as an individual, as a woman and as a member of a vulnerable minority under harsh circumstances and uncompromising social strictures. The importance of learning to trust and be true ...more
Janice Gaines
Oct 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The book utterly surprised me. We here in Netanya, Israel, heard Janice Weizman at a panel of English writers in Israel, and after her presentation several of us purchased the book, not knowing anything about Mrs. Weizman. Four of us read the book at the same time, comparing notes, and we all loved it!!We felt we had found a real treasure in a historical novel that brought so much light to an era we knew nothing about. We are looking forward to Janice Weizman's next book and in the meantime, we ...more
Joanna Chen
Oct 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Wayward Moon is a wonderful, racy, thoughtful book set in ninth century Babylonia. Centered around a young woman who is forced to battle the society that she lives in, Janice Weizman's measured prose is a pleasure to read.
Sonia
Mar 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Omg a other amazing read I loved the story and Characters and it was a really good historical fiction book and the story is set in the golden age of Islam and there was also loads of action in the story but I really enjoyed it AMAZING BOOK :)
Shira Reiss
Mar 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Fabulous book! Couldn't put it down! I love historical novels that allow the reader to enter an ancient world filled with sites and sounds, traditions and customs that I did not know about. The characters were engaging. Beautiful descriptive language.
Karen
Nov 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A rich, gorgeous book. The period details are phenomenal, but the greatest strength of this novel, which is structured as a traditional coming-of-age story, is in showing how for young girls in certain societies, "coming of age" is ultimately a tragic outcome.
Judih Weinstein Haggai
Oct 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful story. Should be made into a movie
Ann Cooper
Reading this book and loving it!
Anne
May 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved it!!!
Vanessa Ehrlich
Jul 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Vanessa by: Rachel Kamin
Shelves: jewish
Great for a book group, I think there will be a lot to discuss.
Eli Jacobs
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I very rarely read historical fiction. I don't get into it. Wayward Moon was first and foremost great fiction - a great story with characters I cared about deeply. And the "historical" was a bonus because it was interesting and I learned a few things along the way.
What struck me most was that the author created a voice, almost a dialect for the way she imagined people spoke more than a thousand years ago; and the voice felt so authentic to me. It was a significant portal
...more
Miryam
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I found Rahel a completely sympathetic and believable character, even as the things happening to her were so unexpected -- for someone of her background. But the story makes it clear how tenuous women's lives are and how few options women actually had once. The Muslim world of that day was presented very well -- the text wears its research lightly. I felt and heard that period, that world, the home, the street.... and I really liked the title which I only understood at the end...… after Rabbi Na ...more
Sari Friedman
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Within its first few magical words I fell into "The Wayward Moon" and the lovely trance-state one experiences from a wonderful read. Still, even now, days after I've finished this book, I find myself remembering the protagonist and the strong emotions and fascinating situations she experienced. The plot is remarkable in several ways: kind of a hybrid fairy tale featuring a plucky orphaned heroine mixed with fascinating details of historical fiction related in a very respectful way re: Islamic, C ...more
Joe
Dec 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
Rahel, a 17-year-old Jewish girl living in the ninth century in Sura, in what was then Babylonia (Bavel), is about to be happily married off to a prominent scholar. But suddenly everything changes when her father, a popular physician, becomes the enemy of a powerful antisemite Abu Said.

And so begins The Wayward Moon (Yotzeret Publishing), the debut novel by Janice Weizman, a Toronto-born writer who now lives in Israel.

When Said kills her father, Rahel, whose mother died in childbirt
...more
Judith
Year 800s in the Euphrates basin -- early Islam, Jewish medicine, and a girl who cross dresses. Rather teachable for the comparative religion aspect of things (she lives in a monastery, reads Antigone in greek) but also hokey and romance-y. Same vein as Maggie Anton's Rav Hisda's Daughter.
Cherie
Jan 30, 2013 rated it liked it
It was a very interesting book set in a time frame I'm not very familiar with. I would recommend it to people who enjoy historical fiction.
Jonida
rated it did not like it
Aug 02, 2013
Jackie F
rated it did not like it
Jan 14, 2014
Dharol Stevens
rated it it was amazing
May 04, 2019
Xina
rated it liked it
Jan 06, 2019
Sasha
rated it really liked it
Oct 05, 2013
Lineal
rated it really liked it
Jan 27, 2016
Jean
rated it liked it
Aug 28, 2012
Lindsay
rated it liked it
Apr 04, 2013
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Please note: Sorry to say that The Wayward Moon is now officially out of print, as the publisher, Yotzeret Publishing, is no longer in bushiness. The Kindle version is still available on the Yotzeret site, and on Amazon. Also, there are still some print editions for sale through online book sellers.

Janice Weizman was born in Toronto, and has lived in Israel for over 35 years. The Waywa
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