Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Saturday Wife” as Want to Read:
The Saturday Wife
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Saturday Wife

3.17  ·  Rating details ·  1,709 ratings  ·  227 reviews
With more than half a million copies of her novels sold, Naomi Ragen has connected with the hearts of readers as well as reviewers who have met her work with unanimous praise. In The Saturday Wife, Ragen utilizes her fluid writing style--rich with charm and detail--to break new ground as she harnesses satire to expose a world filled with contradiction.
Hardcover, 292 pages
Published August 7th 2007 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2007)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Saturday Wife, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Saturday Wife

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,709 ratings  ·  227 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Saturday Wife
Oct 02, 2007 rated it did not like it
I wavered between one and two stars on this one, but finally decided that it really wasn't much better than "With All My Heart, With All My Soul," especially in terms of subtlety, dialogue, agenda, etc. Before I start ripping this book, I have to get this one gripe out that jumped out at me. WHERE WAS THE EDITOR?

p. 205 -- "A week later, Chaim [the rabbi] began learning with Victor Shammanov."
p. 220 -- [at a dinner party given by the rabbi some time later] "He took Chaim into his arms and hugged
Anita Smith
Oct 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Well, I'm not sure why so many people didn't seem to like this book. I didn't feel it offended or stereotyped Judiasm- in fact, I learned a lot of interesting facts about the religion and customs. Yes, the main character was unlikeable, but do we walk around liking everyone in the world, real or fictional? Of course not. We're all flawed. Yes, this woman clearly had a screw (or seven) loose. But she also showed sign of humanity here and there, and her character seemed to be in an ongoing conflic ...more
Nov 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
Definitely dove into The Saturday Wife for a specific challenge. It was an okay book that definitely made me break out the wine. It also had a lot of boring moments for me as well.

Let's just say.. that I wasn't entirely invested in any of the characters. I'm not going to flat out state that they were extremely boring - it's just nothing really happened to them throughout the book that would make me want to like them.

None of them had any particular growth and if they did, I probably would've ra
Ruth Jalfon
Apr 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
At the end of the book Ragen says this was supposed to be satirical and purposely exaggerated to be amusing. I didn't see the amusing part, I didn't even realize it was supposed to be a satire and found the whole thing to be OTT with one dimensional characters and anti-religion. Ragen says in the interview printed at the back that she would never cross the line where she was actually anti religion and anti G-d, well I think she passed it and has done so in previous books too but here the plot wa ...more
May 22, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction-jewish
I think this 'novel' is unworthy of Naomi Ragen. The plot line is silly, a means for her to display the barely two-dimensional characters. The "satire" is terribly overdone and loses whatever message there might be for the reader interested in the conflicts between being a religious Jew and material desires. Her observations make me wonder if she views all of Jewish life through these terribly jaded lenses.

There is also an error: the sotah is not described in Leviticus, but in Numbers, parashat
May 12, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Unfortunatley there can't be a lot of positive things to say about this book in my opinion. After reading Jephte's daughter I was expecting a lot more.

There was no depth to the characters or the plot and the portrayal of a young Jewish woman both in seminary and as a Rebbetzen in two different communities was I felt largely unrepresentative of those lifestyles.

The main character was ofcourse highly unlikeable and although I don't think this in itself is always a negative point in a novel, in t
Feb 05, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: adult, jewish, dnf
This is one of the worst books I have ever read. Not a single character in this book is likeable, the plot is so far-fetched that it is unbeliveable, and it is poorly written. While I have enjoyed Naomi Ragen's other novels (for the most part), not as great literature but enjoyable, it was not so with this one! I felt myself so bored that I skimmed sections and at the end found myself pondering why I wasted my time finishing the darn thing! ...more
Dec 13, 2008 rated it did not like it
Deliliah is a whiner. Plain and simple. To the point where I wanted to bash her head against the wall. To the point where I wanted to throw this book out the window as we drove though Jersey. The only interesting part about this book was the traditions and lifestyles of Orthodox Jews and the part about Rabbi Hershel Metzenbaum and his family, which only last 5 pages. Clearly wasn’t enough to redeem it.
Dec 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this humorous book, which wound up being rather profound--and eerily forboding of a current situation in the world (don't want to say too much and spoil). The book follows the life of a young American Jewish modern orthodox girl, Delilah, whose material and sexual appetites separate her from the world in which she lives. ...more
Sep 04, 2015 rated it did not like it
I love her writing and all her other books are five stars. This one was so very cynical that it was as if someone else wrote it. Very derogatory towards Jews and not an enjoyable read at all. It starts bad and ends worse.
Apr 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Hilarious! Even though I possibly missed some of the subtleties by not being Jewish, I found it a great bit of satire.
Jun 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
Delilah grew up going to Jewish schools, immersed in the Orthodox Jewish community. She was always on the fringes looking in. She was envious of all the things her schoolmates had and she coveted them. At college, she rooms with Rivkie who is a wonderful person. Delilah is looking for something. When she gets a date with Yitzie, the son of a famous Rabbi, she thinks this is it. He is a little bit dangerous not like the other boys. When he finally gets his way with her, he stops calling. Then Del ...more
Monica Shoshanna
Jul 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Saturday Wife is an entertaining, witty yet saddening read, which highlights the immoralities and hypocrisy of some people in every religion. Whether Jewish, Christian or Muslim etc there are always those people who claim to be "holier than though" and bend the rules of their religion when it suits them.

The story centers around Delilah Goldgrab Levi, a highly unlikable, selfish and conniving young woman, who dreams of living a life of fortune and luxury at any price. Delilah takes advantage
Nov 18, 2008 rated it it was ok
Ok, i wanna explain why i gave this book a generous 2 instead of what it really deserves- 1- fact is, this book was written in an extremely easy-to-read fashion- not sure what about it made it this way, but i read this in 2 days and couldn't put it down.

so the problems i have this book are many, but i'm gonna focus on one by contrasting it with one of my favorite books- "the outside world," by tova mirvis. i know that a lot of religious people have trouble with that book but i loved, loved, love
Feb 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Ragen was inspired by hoochie-dancing Orthodox Jewish women and Flaubert's Madame Bovary to write this book and frankly, it shows. Ragen's strength is in loving yet clear-eyed depictions of Orthodox communities in America and Israel, but this time she moves out of it enough to show some of the excesses that can happen as these communities go upscale.

The protagonist (one dare not call her heroine), is Delilah Goldgrab, a relentless social climber whose name telegraphs her intent. Since the rabbi
Feb 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was 5 stars all the way until the epilogue at the end of the book! I hate not knowing what happens to characters in whom I have invested days of my life! Until that point, this was an all encompassing read about greed and longing, always wanting more than you have, even when you thought you had everything every time you got more. A lower middle class Orthodox college girl, with great beauty, dreams of a good life, with a big house and material goods. She lusts after a charmer, temporarily b ...more
Dec 27, 2009 rated it liked it
This is very different from Ragen's other work in that the protagonist is not a particularly sympathetic character. She is quite awful, actually. The book is a bit of a farce, which you have to be or have been Orthodox to truly understand. My sister read it despite my warning and didn't get it because she didn't have the same exposure to traditional Judaism that I have she didn't get the "jokes". Jokes is a bit of a misnomer - there aren't any jokes, just crazy situations that are only ...more
Jan 09, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow! I think I just finished reading "The Parable of the Foolish Wife" or some lesson about wanting too much or chasing the gods of money. In this book, the rabbi's wife (aptly named Delilah!) is never satisfied, until she manages to destroy her own family, her circle of friends, and the church--like the original Delilah, huh? The book is an indepth look at the life of a silly, materialistic, ambitious woman unsuited to her role as the wife of a simple, well meaning, long suffering rabbi. The bo ...more
Stacy  Alesi
If you can imagine Emma Bovary as a contemporary, Orthodox Jew, you have the gist of this latest Jewish family saga from Ragen. Delilah Goldgrab, whose name is completely symbolic of her personality: Delilah is a "bad girl," an Orthodox Yeshiva student who falls for & has sex with the son of a famous rabbi, who promptly dumps her. Goldgrab is interested in only one thing: grabbing the gold, as in making a successful marriage to a man who can keep her in the style to which she would like to becom ...more
Randy Ladenheim-Gil
Nov 11, 2008 rated it it was ok
To say that I was disappointed with this book is an understatement. I've read many of Ragen's previous books and they have brought me to tears, with characters who really meant something to me. I remember back in high school creative writing class the teacher telling us that stories without a single likeable character are recipes for disaster, and someone should have told Ragen that when she started this book. Her afterword leaves readers to believe that the book was disliked partly (mostly?) be ...more
Aug 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who want to learn about Judaism, but will understand this is satire.
Recommended to Lisa by: B&N
I found this book equal parts hilarious and offensive. I'm Jewish, but not religiously so. In that vein, I can find the humor in a lot of this book without being offended by it. The parts that offended me really had nothing to do with the author, merely that facts about the Orthodox aspect of the religion that is so over the top, it's sad. I thought this book did a great job at explaining the traditions a bit to non-Jews that might read it, and I hope that people understand this is meant to be s ...more
Apr 19, 2010 rated it did not like it
After reading Ragen's other novel 'Sotah' I had high hopes. I was disappointed. The main character of this novel is completely unlikable. I found most of the subject matter shallow and was annoyed most of the time as I was reading. I did finish the whole thing, but I think it was only because I kept hoping it would get better. The ending lacked closure, and certainly failed to make sense of all the horrible things the main character did in the course of the novel. I suggest you not waste your ti ...more
Aug 31, 2012 rated it it was ok
Normally, I'm a tremendous fan of Naomi Ragen's books. They are usually well-written, insightful, compelling and hard to put down. This one had none of those qualities. The main character, Delilah, was a schemer, who was whiny, immature and self-centered. The supporting characters were barely developed and only served to shadow Delilah's true personality. The plot, although it did move, seemed to go nowhere. I finished reading it because I kept expecting something interesting to happen, but this ...more
Oct 12, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviews
The fact that the story was told in multiple POVs distracted from the potential depth of the storyline. I didn't need to know every shallow thought of secondary characters. That said, it was intriguing enough to finish in a day. My favorite part was early on-- the residual emotions from yitzie and delilah's tryst. and having a rebitizin with a scandalous past and materialistic longings as a protagonist is daring. ...more
Apr 20, 2008 rated it it was ok
Satire that tended to be more depressing than funny. Still, relatively well-written for a light, quick read. The time period of events in the book were confusing, as there were inconsistencies in cultural references. The book would have made much more sense if the end had been less dramatic and plot-driven, and if the main characters had to come to terms with themselves and their marriage. Not a very flattering presentation of Orthodox Judaism, to say the least.
Mar 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
If you have read Ragen's other books, you know that she specializes in shining a light on the position and plight of women in the Orthodox Jewish community both in the United States and in Israel while depicting three dimensional characters and engaging stories. Unlike her previous novels, in this case she turns to satire and irony to tell a story that is both hilarious and horrifying. Altogether a very enjoyable read. ...more
Jan 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009-reads
This is a two-star satire (of modern Orthodox Jews), a three-star literary update (of Madame Bovary), and a four-star piece of entertainment. It manages to contain satire and literary update, both generally tall orders that tend toward throwing elbows and glitz, without getting in its own way: the pages keep turning and you want to stay in your chair till they're all on the left. ...more
Rayna Forman
Apr 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
Very satirical book....a really upleasant main character. This book is critical of some of the tenets of Orthodox Jewery. THe Saturday Wife is billed as an Emma Bovary climber. Do not reccommend.
Oct 04, 2016 rated it it was ok
I lost interest in the satire quickly but kept reading hoping it would get better. The plot picked up in the end but unfortunately I still wouldn't recommend to others. I still enjoy this author and would recommend her other books. ...more
Mar 05, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fiction readers
Shelves: fiction
this is an interesting, decent book that sheds some light on the hypocrisy of religious observance, at least from one person's perspective. It was a good distraction and I even learned a few things. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Marrying of Chani Kaufman
  • Hush
  • The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem
  • Becoming Eve: My Journey from Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi to Transgender Woman
  • Uncovered: How I Left Hasidic Life and Finally Came Home
  • All Who Go Do Not Return
  • The Outside World
  • The Ladies Auxiliary
  • Day After Night
  • The Color of Love: A Story of a Mixed-Race Jewish Girl
  • Kiss the Girls and Make Them Cry
  • A Journey to the New World: The Diary of Remember Patience Whipple, Mayflower, 1620 (Dear America)
  • Virgin Earth  (Tradescant, #2)
  • The World Starts Anew: The Star and the Shamrock Series - Book 4
  • Reckless
  • Gorge: My Journey Up Kilimanjaro at 300 Pounds
  • Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving
  • My Russian Grandmother and Her American Vacuum Cleaner: A Family Memoir
See similar books…
Naomi Ragen is an American-born novelist and playwright who has lived in Jerusalem since 1971. She has published seven internationally best-selling novels, and is the author of a hit play. Naomi also publishes a regular column that deals with Jewish subjects, especially Israel.

News & Interviews

Some interesting news for book nerds: According to recent industry research, book sales spiked dramatically in 2020–otherwise a rather...
1 likes · 0 comments
“The dates arranged necessitated expensive cross-country plane trips, a situation that understandably left most of them languishing in solitary gloom on Saturday nights.” 0 likes
“Text after text, scholars never tired of trying to compensate for sentencing women to eternal drudgery, which they themselves abhorred, by dreaming up fancy ways of labeling it, easing their consciences and allowing them to view their self-serving little world of men-gods as a fair, nay noble, thing.” 0 likes
More quotes…