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Perhaps the most surprising and intriguing novel on the Man Booker Prize longlist, The Marrying of Chani Kaufman is a debut originally published by a small independent Scottish press that is already garnering significant attention worldwide. London, 2008. Chani Kaufman is a nineteen-year-old woman, betrothed to Baruch Levy, a young man whom she has seen only four times before their wedding day. The novel begins with Chani standing “like a pillar of salt,” wearing a wedding dress that has been passed between members of her family and has the yellowed underarms and rows of alteration stitches to prove it. All of the cups of cold coffee and small talk with men referred to Chani’s parents have led up to this moment. But the happiness Chani and Baruch feel is more than counterbalanced by their anxiety: about the realities of married life; about whether they will be able to have fewer children than Chani’s mother, who has eight daughters; and, most frighteningly, about the unknown, unspeakable secrets of the wedding night. As the book moves back to tell the story of Chani and Baruch’s unusual courtship, it throws into focus a very different couple: Rabbi Chaim Zilberman and his wife, Rebbetzin Rivka Zilberman. As Chani and Baruch prepare for a shared lifetime, Chaim and Rivka struggle to keep their marriage alive—and all four, together with the rest of the community, face difficult decisions about the place of faith and family life in the contemporary world.

Set in the Orthodox Jewish community in North West London, The Marrying of Chani Kaufman is the poignant and humorous story of nineteen-year-old Chani Kaufman and the lead-up to her wedding night. Nineteen-year-old Chani lives in the ultra-orthodox Jewish community of North West London. She has never had physical contact with a man, but is bound to marry a stranger. The rabbi’s wife teaches her what it means to be a Jewish wife, but Rivka has her own questions to answer. Soon buried secrets, fear, and sexual desire bubble to the surface in a story of liberation and choice; not to mention what happens on the wedding night.

19 year-old Chani lives in the ultra-orthodox Jewish community of North West London. She has never had physical contact with a man, but is bound to marry a stranger. The rabbi's wife teaches her what it means to be a Jewish wife, but Rivka has her own questions to answer. Soon buried secrets, fear and sexual desire bubble to the surface; not to mention what happens on the wedding night... A story of liberation and choice, The Marrying of Chani Kaufman is a compelling and original debut novel

In 1950's Brooklyn, sisters Rose and Pearl Weiss grow up in a loving but strict ultra-Orthodox family, never dreaming of defying their parents or their community's unbending and intrusive demands. Then, a chance meeting with a young French immigrant turns Rose's world upside down, its once bearable strictures suddenly tightening like a noose around her neck. In rebellion, she begins to live a secret life – a life that shocks her parents when it is discovered. With nowhere else to turn, and an overwhelming desire to be reconciled with those she loves, Rose tries to bow to her parents' demands that she agree to an arranged marriage. But pushed to the edge, she commits an act so unforgivable, it will exile her forever from her innocent young sister, her family, and all she has ever known. Forty years later, pious Pearl's sheltered young daughter Rivka suddenly discovers the ugly truth about her Aunt Rose, the outcast, who has moved on to become a renowned photographer. Inspired, but nave and reckless, Rivka sets off on a dangerous adventure that will stir up the ghosts of the past, and alter the future in unimaginable ways for all involved. Powerful, page-turning and deeply moving, Naomi Ragen's The Sisters Weiss is an unforgettable examination of loyalty and betrayal; the differences that can tear a family apart and the invisible bonds that tie them together.

For any young woman, it can be hard to follow the rules . . . especially when you’re falling in love. But for Rachel, Hindy, and Leah, it’s especially hard. Because as Orthodox Jews, they live by a whole different set of rules. No touching a guy - any guy! - before marriage. No dating - unless they are considering marriage - and then, only marrying a man who rates high on their parents’ checklists. All Rachel’s mother wants for her daughter is to see that her daughter marries well. Naturally, this is where the rich, Columbia U educated lawyer comes in. The problem is, Rachel’s already found a guy who makes her heart race. A Rabbi. But how could a struggling Rabbi possibly give Rachel the security her mother demands? Hindy is very pious and only wants to marry a Talmud scholar. The problem is, she’s in love with an Orthodox Jewish guy she works with. How long can she keep saying no when her heart says yes? And will she be able to stick to her values amidst temptation? Leah wants to be a doctor, but her mother insists she study computers even though she hates computers. Her mom, a struggling immigrant, has fixed ideas about the course to success and marriage - which doesn’t include any of Leah’s wishes. What will it take for Leah to break out of her mom’s - and community’s - expectations and follow her dreams? In Brooklyn Love, three Orthodox Jewish women who are caught between crushing guilt of defying their mothers and their desire to be ''normal'' are there for each other as they try to figure out who they really are . . . and what they really want. Sensuality Level: Behind Closed Doors

I Am Forbidden is a powerful portrayal of family, faith and history which sweeps the reader across continents and generations, from pre-war Transylvania to present-day New York, via Paris and England. Immersive, beautiful, moving, it explores in devastating detail what happens when unwavering love, unyielding law and centuries of tradition collide.

WINNER OF THE COSTA FIRST NOVEL AWARD 2012 LONGLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2013 WINNER OF THE BETTY TRASK AWARD 2013 WINNER OF THE SAMI ROHR PRIZE FOR JEWISH LITERATURE 2013 What if everything you’d ever wanted was no longer enough? Adam and Rachel are getting married at last. Childhood sweethearts whose lives and families have been intertwined for years; theirs is set to be the wedding of the year. But then Rachel’s cousin Ellie makes an unexpected return to the family fold. Beautiful, reckless and troubled, Ellie represents everything that Adam has tried all his life to avoid – and everything that is missing from his world. As the long-awaited wedding approaches, Adam is torn between duty and temptation, security and freedom, and must make a choice that will break either one heart, or many. 'Wonderful...witty...an astonishingly accomplished debut which will draw comparisons between Segal and Zadie Smith and Monica Ali' Stylist

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin meets The Marrying of Chani Kaufman in this cinematic novel about the birth of Israel and the true story of the marriages of convenience that were arranged to smuggle Jewish women out of Nazi-occupied Europe. On the eve of World War II, a ship bearing twenty young men sets sail from the Palestine Territory toward Europe. Eagerly awaiting them on the other side are twenty young women, whom the men have never met. They have been set up in arranged marriages to enable Jewish women to escape Nazi Germany and enter Palestine without being turned back by the British. But when Yaacov Markovitch, a thoroughly unremarkable man, finds himself married to Bella Zeigerman, the most beautiful woman he has ever set eyes upon, things start to get complicated. Yaacov’s fake marriage is the beginning of a lifelong obsession, as he vows to make his beautiful bride, Bella, love him, despite her determination to break free. Their changing fortunes take them through war, upheaval, terrible secrets, tragedy, joy, and loss. Vital, funny, and tender, One Night, Markovitch brilliantly fuses personal lives and epic history in an unforgettable story of endless, hopeless longing and the desperate search for love.

“Intimate, big-hearted, compassionate and clear-eyed, Brafman’s novel turns secrets into truths and the truth into the heart of fiction.” —AMY BLOOM, author of Lucky Us and Away “From roots in one religious tradition, comes a tale of emotional redemption for all of us. Michelle Brafman’s astonishing compassion for all human frailty infuses this story about the need for truth and the promise of forgiveness.” —HELEN SIMONSON, author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand “Heartfelt and genuine, Washing the Dead never betrays the complicated truths of family and tradition.” — DAVID BEZMOZGIS, author of Natasha and Other Stories and The Betrayers “Like a Jewish Anne Lamott, Brafman reels you in with warmth, depth and heart.” —SUSAN COLL, author of The Stager and Acceptance Three generations of women confront family secrets in this exquisitely wrought debut novel that examines the experience of religious community, the perilous emotional path to adulthood, and the power of sacred rituals to repair damaged bonds between mothers and daughters. Michelle Brafman’s award-winning short stories and essays have appeared in the Washington Post, Slate, Tablet, Lilith Magazine, Bethesda Magazine and elsewhere. She teaches fiction writing at the Johns Hopkins University MA in Writing Program and lives in Glen Echo, Maryland with her husband and two children.

“A touching coming-of-age story” (Publishers Weekly) in the tradition of Anita Diamant’s The Red Tent, about a young woman, her family, their community and the customs that bind them, from “a storyteller of uncommon energy and poise” (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times). This vivid saga begins in Yemen in 1920. Adela Damari’s parents’ health is failing as they desperately seek a future husband for their young daughter, who is in danger of becoming adopted by the local Muslim community if she is orphaned. With no likely marriage prospects, Adela’s situation looks dire—until she meets two cousins from faraway cities: a boy with whom she shares her most treasured secret, and a girl who introduces her to the powerful rituals of henna. Ultimately, Adela’s life journey brings her old and new loves, her true calling, and a new life as she is transported to Israel as part of Operation On Wings of Eagles. Rich, evocative, and enthralling, Henna House is an intimate family portrait interwoven with the traditions of the Yemenite Jews and the history of the Holocaust and Israel. This sensuous tale of love, loss, betrayal, forgiveness—and the dyes that adorn the skin and pierce the heart—will captivate readers until the very last page.

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