Darlene's Reviews > If All the Seas Were Ink: A Memoir

If All the Seas Were Ink by Ilana Kurshan
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When I was young, and even to this day, I loved to spend time, overnight to weeks, if I could, in other people's homes. It was interesting to see how other people lived. I learned how different and yet the same my life was to my friends. What rules applied? What was okay? How huggy or talky were the people?

As an adult that is less likely to happen. Slumber parties seem to stay in the child's world. Really close friends can share their lives. But it isn't the same as personal observation.

Autobiographies give that kind of insight. You live inside the person's world, hear their thoughts, see how they try to live up to their own standards. See how they feel when they don't.

Ilana Kurshan provides that kind of insight. I admire her determination and curiosity. She decided to study the Talmud in a seven-year quest to understand it and her relationship to it better. She lived it as best she could, all the easier for living in Jerusalem, all the harder as a single person, then newlywed, then young mother. But she did her best to apply what she learned along the way.

I was raised protestant. I have many friends of various religious leanings and love to learn their belief systems and how they work in real life. I have a friend who has moved to Israel and thought of her as I read. I don't know if she read this yet, but I bet she will glean from this person's challenge.

Rating autobiographies is harder than a piece of fiction. It is personal. I can't judge another person's life or their own memories. It was where they are/were and how they choose to live it. Ms. Kurshan's writing was compelling. I couldn't stop reading. Since this was an ARC or Uncorrected Copy, there were formatting issues that made my text-to-speech the best way to read it all. But I'm sure those issues were corrected in the retail versions. Other than that it was a delightful read and I highly recommend it to others. I doubt I will ever try the seven-year Talmud, though who knows? I've taken on lessor challenges. I was glad that Ilana included scripture so I could feel a part of the quest. And I'm proud of her for taking a feminist view on her religion. It makes it all more real and possible.

I can't wait to read other reviews about this book.
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Reading Progress

September 5, 2019 – Shelved
September 14, 2019 – Started Reading
September 16, 2019 –
73.0%
September 18, 2019 – Shelved as: biography
September 18, 2019 – Shelved as: contemporary
September 18, 2019 – Shelved as: inspirational
September 18, 2019 – Shelved as: jewish
September 18, 2019 – Shelved as: jerusalem
September 18, 2019 – Shelved as: israel
September 18, 2019 – Shelved as: kindle
September 18, 2019 – Shelved as: literature
September 18, 2019 – Shelved as: memoir
September 18, 2019 – Shelved as: netgalley
September 18, 2019 – Shelved as: non-fiction
September 18, 2019 – Shelved as: autobiography
September 18, 2019 – Shelved as: religion
September 18, 2019 – Shelved as: text-to-speech-enabled
September 18, 2019 – Finished Reading

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