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From The Baltimore Jewish Times

As creatures of habit, human beings often resist changes. Changes involving lifestyles of immediate family can complicate relationships when people must deal with stressful adjustments.

This book is a narrative told in the voice of Honey Black, whose father, together with his second wife, Evelyn, embarks on a spiritual journey, becomes an Orthodox Jew and moves to Israel.

Honey relates the complexities of her childhood: Her mother died at a young age from breast cancer. She shares the many challenges she and her sister Susan faced when their father remarried. Now, things are more intense as their father and Evelyn keep kosher, observe Shabbat, pray regularly and constantly discuss Judaism.

Honey and Susan, married with families of their own, devise a plan to bring their father back to their home town of Brookline, Mass. They refer to Orthodox Judaism as a cult, going to Israel on a rescue mission to help him return to what they consider normal life.

When Honey and Susan return to Brookline, their husbands and children have difficulty understanding what has changed and why they are no longer so quick to condemn Orthodox Jews. Their chosen professions complicate the situation. Honey, a lawyer, is involved in a case preventing the local Jewish day school from expanding its physical space. Susan and her husband own a non-kosher restaurant, a place where her father and Evelyn will no longer eat.

The challenges culminate in a visit to Brookline from her father and Evelyn, resolution of the court case with her father’s help, and Ronnie, Honey’s son, recovering from an accident. Through many conflicting emotions, Honey eventually feels at peace with herself and her family relationships.

While the novel was at times depressing, I found Honey’s reflections inspirational and hopeful. Characters in this novel find strength and hope in places where they might not have imagined possible.

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