After fifteen-year-old Rachel overhears her rabbi committing infidelity, she must come to terms with the fact that adults make mistakes, too--and that she is old enough to be held responsible for her own mistakes.
This witty but unsettling coming-of-age story from National Book Award- finalist Heiligman (Charles and Emma) traces 15-year-old Rachel Greenberg's fall from innocence after a series of betrayals leaves her angry and confused. Rachel's life is in upheaval: her parents' once-solid marriage is dissolving and her best friend is experimenting with drugs and sex. But Rachel is hit hardest when she catches her hero, Rabbi Cohn, having sex in the sanctuary with a young bride-to-be. Feeling like she has no one to turn to, Rachel enters a downward spiral of her own. She begins a tentative romance with a childhood friend, but she isn't fully able to sort matters out until she starts focusing on tikkun olam, the concept of repairing a damaged world. Although the onslaught of disasters that pile up for Rachel get to be a bit much, and her final confrontation with the rabbi comes off as slightly artificial, Heiligman nails Rachel's reeling emotions as she tries to restore her faith and find answers and redemption. Ages 14-up. Agent: Ken Wright, Writers House. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Knopf Books for Young Readers
August 13, 2012
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