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Giving up America

3.12  ·  Rating details ·  230 ratings  ·  18 reviews
In her "remarkable first novel" (Entertainment Weekly), Pearl Abraham "deftly lift(ed) the opaque curtain from the closed Hasidic world" (New York Times Book Review). Now she tells the poignant story of a marriage cracking and collapsing under the weight of conflicting faiths. Deena's father, a Hasidic scholar, opposes her marriage to the non-Hasidic Daniel based on Kabbal ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 1st 1999 by Riverhead Trade (first published 1998)
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Average rating 3.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  230 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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May 25, 2008 rated it liked it
I need to read this one again. I see three stars but do remember liking this one and this author...
MaryannC. Book Freak
I read this before I joined Goodreads and I read it a few times because I own the book. What I have to say about this is that Pearl Abraham is a fine writer, but this story is like a aimless wandering for me. The main character just seemed to let things happen in her life and in her marriage. She just didnt seem to care about where things were going for her. Maybe that's the gist of the character, but sometimes it was aggravating, like I wanted to shout at her and say *Do something already!".
Dec 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
A bit aimless, as others have said. I wanted to shake Deena and Daniel. There was not much Jewishness in it at all, which might have made it more interesting. Discussions of watching paint dry are as interesting as they sound. I can hear renovation stories from friends and family, I don't need to read about them. It was readable, in an unexciting way. If what you want is meandering introspection, go for it.
Apr 18, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm surprised I even finished this book. I think I kept waiting for it to get better. It never did.
Aug 06, 2012 rated it liked it
I liked The Romance Reader a whole lot better.
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
I had to give up on this book. The thing I was interested in was the Jewish culture but the main character did not live out her faith. She was mean and so was her husband. I did not see any love between them at all. Dislikable people.
Nov 29, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book's description was deceptive, as it promises an in-depth look at Orthodox Jewish life through the eyes of its narrator, Deena. The book follows the daily life of a couple seeking to establish themselves in marriage as well as a home. I think the book's focus was on ethnic Judaism versus religious Jewish life. I found Deena less religious in America in comparison to her husband, Daniel. Her religion becomes running, if anything. As the couple attempts to achieve the American Dream, throu ...more
May 13, 2010 rated it did not like it
i didn't appreciate that there didn't seem to be any definites in the plot- couldn't tell when the conflict started and ended and i didn't see any growth in any of the could argue that this makes the book realistic since this is how life is, which may be true, but it didn't make for an enjoyable read.
Jun 26, 2008 rated it did not like it
I started reading this book. I hated everything about it. I stopped after the 3rd chapter maybe. I didn't like the direction in where it seemed to be going. It was very boring and I hope not all of her books are like this.
Oct 24, 2007 rated it liked it
A somewhat depressing, believable story of the dissolution of a marriage, because of differences of faith and belief.
Aug 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: gender
a little dull.
Kelli Randall
Sep 22, 2016 rated it liked it
It was alright. I finished it. There was just never anything exciting that happened and it took awhile to get used to the way the author writes dialogue.
May 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
The slow demise of a marriage
Greta Vercruyce
Sep 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: engels
The story of a marriage breaking down, told by the wife. The characters in this book do not really come to live, actually I was a bit bored by the marriage /story too..!
Dec 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Singlehood anthem for women. Loved it!
contemporary Orthodox Jewish woman copes.
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Pearl Abraham is the author of the novels The Romance Reader and Giving Up America, and the editor of the Dutch anthology Een Sterke Vrouw: Jewish Heroines in Literature. Her work has appeared in Brooklyn Noir, The Michigan Quarterly, Religion in America, Dog Culture: Writers on the Character of Canines, and Forward.

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