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Dispelling the Myth

by Diana Hochman

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Superficial and pretentious.

The book revolves around the life of a woman in her early thirties who is converting to Judaism and all the obstacles she faces while converting to Judaism, he journey to Isreal from Los Angeles, and her journey back to Los Angeles from Isreal.

The plot of the book is very loose with an unreliable and pretentious narrator, who is more occupied with telling every little thing and not showing at all. The narrator is very superficial about her social status and takes any occasion to reiterate her class in society among her popular and wealthy acquaintances. The first half of the book is about her mad obsession with finding love and marrying a guy and having children - one of her reasons to convert to Judaism. During that process, she gets abused, raped, and involved with a married Rabbi. For the abuses and rape, she endured at the hands of men in power, she just brushes them off as "men being men." Surprisingly, in the second half of the book, after she lands in Israel, she starts standing her ground and eventually decides against converting to Othodox Judaism because of all the hypocrisy and oppression of women that she sees. The narrator has this air of trying to sound very intellectual, critical, and knowledgeable around religion, spirituality, and power in relation to the state of Isreal but lacks basic knowledge of the history and politics of Isreal. She puts a lot of blame on Arabs/Palestinians for bombing cities in Isreal and taking their homes. She needs a reality check or needs to watch some news just once in a while.

The book could have been either a really well-researched essay on the hypocrisy of Rabbis and the family setting and/or a much shorter story of the narrator. The book in itself appears to be a first draft that wasn't revised and edited. There are a lot of editing issues that are prominent in the book. It is an extremely long book for such a plot. It sounds more like propaganda for Judaism and the legitimacy of the state of Isreal, but the Rabbis in the book aren't really helping. There is cliche reflection in the book to make the narrator sound intellectual, which does not really work. There are a bunch of concepts, theories, spiritual reflections, and religious statements that are thrown there without research and fact-checking. The book feels like a mixture of a CV, Cover letters, Blog Posts, and daily journals loosely put together to be forced into forming a book.

It is a good story lost to bad writing where the author is trying too hard to prove something. ( )
  munna.dahal | Jan 8, 2023 |
"The plot in Dispelling the Myth by Diana Hochman is interesting and exciting. I was intrigued from the beginning. I could not put the book down. There were so many twists and turns that I never knew what to expect. The story is fast-paced with enough action to keep it interesting. Miri’s journey kept me on the edge of my seat. I kept turning the pages to find out what was going to happen next."
 
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Epigraph
The only force powerful enough to change the course of history is love.
Dedication
For the Forgotten Ones.
First words
It was the most bizarre trip when I think about it in hindsight.
Quotations
You just don't know until you know.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Miri Nachum ends up in a foreign country searching for love and truth. But who she ends up, is a far cry from who she was when she started out. Is she a seeker on a spiritual path to find faith, God and meaning? Or an international spy on a cosmic mission to disrupt the old-world paradigm and end patriarchal rule?

As she sets out on the hero’s journey, a most perilous path wrought with endless pitfalls, dangers and setbacks, she inevitably uncovers life’s eternal truths. And just when you think she dispels the myth, you discover that the journey has only just begun. From ecstasy-filled raves in Vegas to orgiastic dungeons in The Old City in Jerusalem, adventure awaits.
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