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The Ladies Auxiliary (Ballantine Reader's…

The Ladies Auxiliary (Ballantine Reader's Circle)

by Tova Mirvis

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4791234,243 (3.82)4
Batsheva is free-spirited and artistic, and at first the women of the ladies auxiliary discover in her a passion for the traditions and rituals of Judaism which have become stale and routine to them. But when Batsheva becomes close with the restless high-school girls she teaches who are eager to catch glimpses of the non-Kosher world outside, and befriends, maybe a little too intimately, the beloved Rabbi's only son, Yosef, feathers begin to ruffle. When events come to a head, and Batshevea's past is revealed, the women's allegiances begin to split over whether Batsheva should be forced out of the community.Batsheva is an unforgettable character, one who makes her claims on the reader's heart from the first page. The Ladies Auxiliary, beautifully and skillfully told, shows what happens when the outside world leans on a closed community so intent on keeping its children inside its tight walls that it cannot see it is losing them.… (more)
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    The Jew Store by Stella Suberman (cransell)
    cransell: A memoir about growing up Jewish in the South.

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» See also 4 mentions

English (10)  Dutch (2)  All languages (12)
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Memphis orthodox jews, possible LMIC book club? ( )
  nancynova | Sep 12, 2015 |
The religious Jewish community of Memphis, Tennessee, like communities around the world believe they alone know what's right and what's not. The women, in particular, are as imperfect as they come; with their personal agendas, insecurities, petty jealousies, and hypocrisy.

When Batsheva, a young, attractive Jewish convert and widow moves into the neighborhood with her little daughter, Ayala, tongues start wagging. Because she is blonde, confident and passionate, many of the women find fault with the way she dresses, keeps house, raises her daughter, etc. Batsheva doesn't acknowledge the community's "hierarchy" and before long she becomes the scapegoat for the town's problems.

I would have enjoyed The Ladies Auxiliary more if it weren't for the endless explanations of Jewish laws, customs and holidays. Novel is oversimplified; more storylines would have added much-needed dimension and texture. ( )
  Bookish59 | Mar 9, 2015 |
I think Mirvis' [b:The Outside World|202752|The Outside World|Tova Mirvis|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1172642966s/202752.jpg|196162] is an all-around better novel, with rounder characters, but this was still an enjoyable read. She lovingly portrays the world of women within the Memphis Orthodox community, according to the rhythms of the Jewish liturgical year. Food for thought on the nature of community and belonging and tradition. ( )
  LudieGrace | Dec 4, 2013 |
transferring information from 2006 spreadsheet
  sally906 | Apr 3, 2013 |
The Ladies Auxiliary is a soapy view into the lives of a group of Orthodox Jewish women from Memphis, TN and what happens when a newcomer from New York joins their community.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and loved seeing how the author wove the fabric of an Orthodox Jewish community with the American South. It was a bit slow at times, and it was frustrating to watch the community fall apart due to its own assumptions and insecurities. Still, it was a solid novel with smooth prose and a dishy plot. I'd definitely recommend it to those readers who enjoy things like The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, but might be looking for a more religious twist! I give it four stars. ( )
  MeganAngela | May 14, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
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Average: (3.82)
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W.W. Norton

An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.

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