Judy's Reviews > Jumping Over Shadows: A Memoir

Jumping Over Shadows by Annette Gendler
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it was amazing

A smartly written memoir about the author's life as a young educated German woman who unexpectedly falls in love with Harry, a German Jewish man, the child of Holocaust survivors. They keep their relationship secret for a very long time, not wanting to upset Harry's parents, and also striving to avoid the social discomfort among the close-knit Jewish community where they live in Germany.
But as Annette begins to encounter casual anti-Semitism among her friends, she realizes it's time to make her fateful decision: whether to convert to Judaism to marry Harry or not.

I wish the author had devoted more space to discussing how the growing role of Judaism affected Harry and their relationship; before their marriage he had seemingly been very secular, but as a couple they committed to greater Jewish observance. I also wish that she had written more about the ethical precepts of Judaism that I find so beautiful, for example, the emphasis on acts of kindness, on giving charity, of avoiding gossip, and so many others. Instead, she focuses on the "do's and don'ts," which are certainly very real but require context to appreciate.

Still, this was a very absorbing and meaningful read, especially as she weaves her own family history -- including its Jewish connections -- along the way.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
July 8, 2018 – Shelved

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