As events are canceled due to Coronavirus and my school will be closed for at least a week. My first stop was the public library. Yes, I know I can read ebooks but how many hours can one spend looking at a screen? The library was bustling with patrons and phone calls. Apparently the Schenectady County Public Library system had just announced a two-week shutdown. I arrived at the perfect time.
This morning my world was more relaxed. No reason to rush, I have nowhere to go! I snuggled in with Dara Horn’s Novel, A Guide for the Perplexed (2013). What a treat!
Josie is a Jewish woman who created a tech company that records everything in your life and sorts the information for instant retrieval. She and her Israeli husband have one daughter. A character who, like all the characters in this story is not perfect.
Josie’s sister is given a job in the company, purely out of pity. The relationship between these sisters drives the plot. There is a kidnapping, a brutal beating, and new understandings of old memories.
Other chapters of Horn’s novel are set in the early 1900s as Solomon Schechter, the founder of Conservative Judaism, searches for ancient papers in an Egyptian Synagogue. A third, equally interesting story involves Maimonides and his search for a cure for Asthma.
All three stories are interesting, all three deal with the role of memory and the stories we tell ourselves. Each involves siblings and the love and jealousy that comes with the complicated sibling relationship. The three stories tie together to make one very interesting novel.
You’ve got the time– I can’t wait to discuss this book- it’s a perfect book group selection for when the world returns to normal again.