The Ladies Auxiliary: A Novel

The Ladies Auxiliary: A Novel

4.2 20
by Tova Mirvis
     
 

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In this remarkable and assured debut, Tova Mirvis tells the story of the close-knit, carefully structured world of the Orthodox community in Memphis, Tennessee, a world that unravels when Batsheva, newly widowed and a convert to Judaism, and her five-year-old daughter, Ayala, move in.

Batsheva is free-spirited and artistic, and at first the women of the ladies

Overview

In this remarkable and assured debut, Tova Mirvis tells the story of the close-knit, carefully structured world of the Orthodox community in Memphis, Tennessee, a world that unravels when Batsheva, newly widowed and a convert to Judaism, and her five-year-old daughter, Ayala, move in.

Batsheva is free-spirited and artistic, and at first the women of the ladies auxiliary discover in her a passion for the traditions and rituals of Judaism which have become stale and routine to them. But when Batsheva becomes close with the restless high-school girls she teaches who are eager to catch glimpses of the non-Kosher world outside, and befriends, maybe a little too intimately, the beloved Rabbi's only son, Yosef, feathers begin to ruffle. When events come to a head, and Batshevea's past is revealed, the women's allegiances begin to split over whether Batsheva should be forced out of the community.

Batsheva is an unforgettable character, one who makes her claims on the reader's heart from the first page. The Ladies Auxiliary, beautifully and skillfully told, shows what happens when the outside world leans on a closed community so intent on keeping its children inside its tight walls that it cannot see it is losing them.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393078343
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
02/07/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
193,198
File size:
406 KB

Meet the Author

Tova Mirvis grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, and lives in New York City. She received her M.F.A. from Columbia University under the tutelage of Rebecca Goldstein and Mary Gordon.

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The Ladies Auxiliary 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was boring.  I did not like the author's style of writing; I felt distanced from both the characters and the story. 
Dee_RN More than 1 year ago
Very very good reading. I enjoyed the different aspects and views of all the characters. Wonderful, I couldn't put it down!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Our women's Bible study group read this for summer book club - it is entertaining, informing, and thought-provoking. Her character development is great, and I liked her easy writing style. Our group of 20-plus women of varying ages unanimously reported enjoying the read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book reminds me of my naborhood, exsept insed of being jewish we r morman. It started off the same,everyone kind and really willing to be you friend. Then they realize your real diffrent from them, and so bevause they are looking for them they find your flaws and sooner or later you no longer are there friends at all, more like enameis
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved Batsheva-- what a beautuful loving charactor in the book she is! A fast and totally enjoyable book. All the charactors just sprung to life and gave interesting unsight to small community living..
FrankieAL More than 1 year ago
This is a great book for many reasons. You learn a lot about Judaism, but mostly about acceptance. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and often recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just really didn't enjoy this book. I found it really hard to get through. I did enjoy learning more about Orthodox Jewish traditions, but wasn't really engaged beyond that. The novel is narrated in first person plural ('we'), which is unusual and appropriate for this book, but it added to my lack of enjoyment. Having a spiritual and free-spirited sister who reminds me a little of Batsheva, I was unable to fully buy into Batsheva's motivations for moving to and staying in Memphis.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love Mervis, and this novel was fun, fast reading, interesting. I highly recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As an orthodox teenager, i was able to strongly realate to Tova Mirvis's wonderful book. she portrayed the orthodox community well, (although i have always lived in the city and i feel she was slightly to negative with many of the characters. i was exteremely touched by the parts with the rebellious teenage girls in the community. i have attended a jewish school all my life, and have many times questioned my religion and upbringing. i understand what the girls were going through, and felt that batsheva was the greatest thing that happened to the girls, and i wish that i could have someone like her. although i believe in my religion and plan on always liveing an orthodox life, that section of the book was incredibly realistic and touching for me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the type of book that I really look for when I want a good read for a vacation. I find that books like this which focus on a 'closed' society really bring up a lot of issues for society as a whole. As a barely observant NYC Jewish woman, who sees Jewishness as more of a cultural than religious thing, this book was extremely touching and captivating. A non-Jewish friend of mine said she found reading about the holidays and traditions interesting. For me, I found the Southern versions more interesting. But the real point of the book for me is this-- can a 'closed' society exist without allowing its members to make the CHOICE to be there. In many ways, it is no different from ANY group. We all have expectations for our kids and feel rejected in some way if they choose a path that is very different from ours. In any case-- I really loved this book and I look foward to others by the same author.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was really fun, and accurate!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one terrific read. I sat down of an afternoon and read it cover to cover. As an Orthodox Jew I expected a cliched and tired work on the same old theme of rigidity and clannishness of orthodox Jewry. I was delighted to find such a well balanced and very rich human story. The writer's talent shines in allowing her readers to come to their own conclusions about the characters and situations. This is a generous, insightful book with a lot of heart and universal appeal.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a gift, a deep, rich story that feels fresh and utterly real. The story deals with feminine mistrust, jealousy and competition, weaving that theme around the human longing for acceptance and profound religious joy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was great. As I was reading it, I felt I was part of the community.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am about as distanced from this world as possible: Catholic, Hispanic and male, yet I was alsolutely enchanted by The Ladies Auxiliary. The details of orthodoxy were fascinating and provided a vivid view into a world which I have no knowledge. I am an avid reader and must say that this is one of the best books I have read this year. Bravo Mrs. Mirvis, I look forward to your next book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dear Ms. Mirvis; May I call you Tova? I am writing this review as a letter because after reading your book and meeting your 'friends' in it, I feel that I know you as well. I am an Orthodox Jew (and writer and critic) who has been discouraged by many of the portrayals of our ilk in many other novels and books -- either as singular devils or as singular saints. I am neither and I am sure that most orthodox jews are neither. You have portrayed 'us' (I shall include myself as part of the 'we') as real people who are deeply committed to our wonderous religion while we are plagued and struggle with all the problems of humanity (perhaps a bit of an overdose for some?). It is in this sense that the 'we' worked so well for me -- not only to represent the community you wrote of but to include (so cleverly) the reader within that community. This is a 'must' book for anyone who thinks that they know the answers (to show that they do not)or that they do not (to show that they are not alone); and for jews (to raise their knowledge of their religion and to awaken the need to reexamine themselves) and nonjews (to learn about the true nature of judaism and to apply the stories to their own communities and groups). I am sure, Tova, that some, perhaps many, will disparage this work -- the orthodox who recoil from any negativity; the antiorthodox who will recoil from the sensitive portrayal of ritual and who will focus on the negative; the elitists who will mock the southern charm that replaces intellectual sterility; and the 'would be' writers who wish they would have done it first. But please Tova -- keep up the cheer. The stronger their criticism, the more you should revel; you aroused something in them. You did good -- as your name suggests. Do it again soon. With great respect, XXXXXXXXXX
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is interesting and informative
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
T.T To Somebody if watching- Quite stalking me! Its super annoying. Im allowed to have a secret book ya know.