Novel Comments

23 Sep

An author writing in my home town in North Carolina, Karen Bender had published a book, A Town of Empty Rooms (2013), that I just read. I found it to be a page-turner and read it in one sitting. It is an evocative rendering of human frailty and existential loneliness in the person of a woman seeking ultimately to hear herself and others in ways that make for more connection and community. It is not for everyone, perhaps, because it uses the Jewish experience in a small southern town as illumination of what it is to be an isolated outsider, including in the Jewish community itself, within which there are struggles and potential alienation centering around a charismatic but troubled Rabbi.

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