The Sacrifice of Tamar, Large Print

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From the author of Jephte's Daughter and Sotah comes The Sacrifice of Tamar, a powerful novel that examines with unflinching honesty the dark heart of racism and the surprising capacity of the human spirit to soar above its sordid consequences. Tamar Finegold is twenty-one years old, a happy, chaste young bride in one of Brooklyn's insulated ultra-Orthodox enclaves, a community not unlike Crown Heights. As the wife of a rising young Rabbi and Talmud scholar, her status is assured, and she commands the respect and...
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2003 Hardcover Very good LARGE PRINT COPY W32; Cover artwork may differ; *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a ... return is necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

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Overview

From the author of Jephte's Daughter and Sotah comes The Sacrifice of Tamar, a powerful novel that examines with unflinching honesty the dark heart of racism and the surprising capacity of the human spirit to soar above its sordid consequences. Tamar Finegold is twenty-one years old, a happy, chaste young bride in one of Brooklyn's insulated ultra-Orthodox enclaves, a community not unlike Crown Heights. As the wife of a rising young Rabbi and Talmud scholar, her status is assured, and she commands the respect and envy of her neighbors and friends. This staid, predictable life is brought to an abrupt end when she is raped by a black man who enters the apartment where Tamar is caring for her sister's baby. Rather than risk the unbearable stigma that would result from telling the truth, a stigma Tamar fears would not only destroy her standing in the community but her marriage as well, she silently hides her shame, finding solace in her unsuspecting husband's loving arms. However, Tamar's confused, expedient decision explodes into an incalculable moral dilemma when she discovers she is pregnant and cannot be sure who the father is. Faced with impossible choices, she turns for help to the two best friends of her childhood: Hadassah, the beautiful, wayward daughter of the great Kovnitzer Rabbi; and intelligent, worldly Jenny, whose widowed mother sent her to a girl's yeshiva simply to avoid public school. Together, the three friends relive past struggles with issues of moral choice, religious belief, racial tolerance, and human kindness. In the end, Tamar makes the only choice she can, praying that she will never be forced to face the consequences. And it seems as if her prayers have been answered until a shocking, undreamed of turn of events brings her carefully balanced world crashing down, forcing her into a final, inevitable confrontation with the truth. It is a confrontation that will expand her narrow horizons, creating the need for heartbreaking sacrifices and

As the wife of a young Rabbi, Tamar's status is assured. But her staid life crashes around her when she is raped. Humiliated and confused, she refuses to risk the stigma that would result from telling the truth, only to find herself pregnant and unsure who the father is. Faced with impossible choices, Tamar turns to her best friends from childhood.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Returning to familiar terrain in her third novel (after Jephte's Daughter and Sotah), Ragen again examines the lives of ultra-orthodox Jews and the severe consequences that can befall even the most faithful when they take a serious, albeit human misstep. Most of the story takes place in a Brooklyn neighborhood resembling Borough Park, although, as in her previous books, dramatic fanfare occurs in Israel, too. Pious Tamar both adores and is in awe of her warm and brilliant husband, Josh. She is looking forward to an intimate evening after her ritual visit to the mikvah (here Ragen offers a tediously detailed description about Jewish conjugal laws), but that evening she is raped by a black man. She does not tell her husband about the attack, and when she discovers she is pregnant, she does not abort the fetus, because she is not sure whether the rapist or Josh is the father. In trying to make the reader understand why Tamar would choose silence and sustain the pregnancy, Ragen flashes back to Tamar's youth, particularly her relationship with two friends who play pivotal roles throughout her life: Hadassah, the beautiful, rebellious daughter of the neighborhood's primary religious leader, and Jenny, who comes from a secular background but easily adapts to Orthodox observance. The interplay between the girls as they take tentative steps into the secular world of the late 1960s provides some charming scenes, and the final chapters prove moving and dramatic when later consequences of Tamar's deceptive silence shatter her family's life. While Ragen is an able storyteller and handles dialogue deftly, her plots are becoming hackneyed. It's an insular and provincial world that she has chosen to portray, and here she adds little that is new or eye-opening to the reader. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Ragen (Jepthe's Daughter, LJ 12/88) continues to describe life in the ultra-orthodox Jewish communities of the United States and Israel. After being raped, Tamar, the young wife of a brilliant rabbi, chooses to conceal the crime. Soon, she discovers that she is pregnant and wrestles with a moral decision she is ill equipped to make. "What's not nice we don't show" is the modus operandi of Tamar's world, a creed to which she adheres until 20 years later when she must step forward or see innocent lives destroyed. The author paints a picture of a rigid, unyielding people for whom true tolerance and understanding is a luxury only the most saintly can afford, and she juxtaposes the more worldly modern orthodox as a positive alternative. Although Tamar is not a truly lovable heroine, and her transformation is difficult to accept, the author's fluid writing and fascinating descriptions of an exotic community will make this an attractive title for public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 7/94.]-Andrea Caron Kempf, Johnson Cty. Community Coll. Lib., Overland Park, Kan.
Alice Joyce
The rape of a young, ultra-Orthodox Jewish woman and her ultimate redemption are at the very heart of Ragen's latest novel. The detailed portrait of life within devoutly religious communities begins in New York and, as the tale unfolds, moves to Israel. While growing up in Brooklyn, Tamar and her two closest friends must deal with petty jealousies, gossip, and the rigid demands of an ancient orthodoxy. Adolescence introduces choices that profoundly affect their adult lives, and as women, each will pursue a considerably different path from that of the others. Tamar is allowed her imperfections, and these less-than sterling qualities make Ragen's protagonist all the more likable. The author handles this complex and moving story with a deft touch as Tamar's outwardly perfect life must finally be reconciled with her long-kept secret.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781902881744
  • Publisher: Toby Press LLC, The
  • Publication date: 5/1/2003
  • Format: Leather Bound
  • Pages: 674
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.60 (d)

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