(I received this book for free as part of Goodreads First Reads giveaways).
(This review may contain spoilers).
I think I know bits and pieces about the Jewish faith, so I did find this book to be quite an informative read. I did feel that, although there were bits and pieces of action, a lot of the story was told in dialogue form… and although I did try to pay attention, I found myself skimming over the numerous stories. I do feel that telling the stories in flashback form would have drawn me in a lot easier than a stream of constant story-telling within the book.
I found the culture of the characters to be quite a fascinating one. The author did a good job of showing bits and pieces of both Wapasha’s culture and the Rabbi’s. There were bits and pieces of information that I found really quite intriguing – especially with the translations provided for the prayers and suchlike.
There was a nice variety of characters, though I did get a little confused with who some of them were at times. It was also nice to learn more about their work on the farm… and how they provided for themselves in the preparation of the meat to sell as Kosher.
I did feel that the author did a good job of showing Wapasha’s PTSD. I would have liked to see a bit more of that with the Rabbi. He was able to recognise the effects in Wapasha, but it would have been good to see Wapasha do the same.
I did find myself more drawn into Chaim’s story than any of the others. While I think it was a good concept to create bonds through sharing stories of the past, as I said earlier, I would have preferred to see the past told at least in flashbacks.
The book was fairly well-written, though I did notice a few issues with the formatting. It was good to see the details of Wapasha’s past… but it was really only him and the Rabbi who seemed to have more complicated histories.
I’m glad I received a copy of this book and was able to read it… but I’m not sure this would be a book I’d read again as it stands right now.