A Delightful Compendium Of Consolation

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More About This Book

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Willful Jewish girl Karimah HaCohen al-Tustari flees her home in Cairo, Egypt, to run off with her lover. Complicating the situation is that the year is 1031 and the love of Karimah's life is Muslim. Karimah's departure has devastated her family, and her father declares her dead. Karimah vehemently disagrees and writes to her brother that "there is a huge difference between being in love and being dead." Like generations of girls before and after her, she struggles with the restraints placed upon her by society and religion, and the novel tells of how she comes to terms with her decisions and the unconventional life that she has chosen to live. Visotzky, an educator, rabbi, and author of nine nonfiction books, devoted over two years of scholarly research to the preparation of this debut novel and it shows. Using the Cairo Geniza (an actual storage room where Jews deposited everything written in Hebrew), Visotzky poignantly re-creates a time period in which adventurers, scholars, Jews, and Muslims lived together in relative harmony. Includes in-depth notes on sources and glossary; for Jewish fiction and larger historical fiction collections.
—Marika Zemke

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781934730201
  • Publisher: Ben Yehuda Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2008
  • Pages: 328
  • Sales rank: 1,284,440
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2008

    A reviewer

    A Delightful Compendium of Consolation is a fictional account based on actual documents discovered in the Cairo Geniza that date back to the ninth century. Several of the characters in the novel are real people, while others are fictional creations. Visotzky organizes his book as a series of letters between four of the main characters detailing the reaction of a family to a daughter's choice to run away with the man she loves, and the daughter's adventures away from the family. There were parts of this novel that I truly enjoyed. However, I often found the structure to be frustrating - just as I was getting into the story, the narrator changed, which disrupted the flow. I eventually found myself skimming through to get to the parts about Karimah, which I thought were the most interesting. I think my main problem was that I could never quite lose myself in the story because of the abrupt changes. I did find much of the historical information fascinating, and enjoyed learning more about a period of time I know little about. I am not sure I can say that I enjoyed this novel, but I can certainly appreciate the opportunity to read it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2008

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