Out of Town

We moved 1000 miles away from our friends and family and just had a new baby....

Monday, May 01, 2006

Historical Fiction

I just finished reading Rashi's Daughters, Book 1: Joheved. It was enjoyable and a quick read. It was an interesting enough story and was, I think, fairly accurate. I have been wanting to find out more about how Jews lived in the middle ages and this book certainly covered that topic. I don't know how accurate all the little details are, but it seems to me that the author did a lot of research before she wrote this book.

However, I do have a complaint. Why do women who write historical fiction feel the need to include so many love scenes. Sometimes, these scenes make sense, but in this book, I thought they were totally gratuitous.

The author also clearly wanted to show her mastery of Talmud, and included a lot of quotes to show her proficiency. A large part of the plot was Rashi teaching his daughters Gemara, so some quoting was necessary, but at certain points, it felt like the story was simply being used to allow her to show her knowledge.

Overall, it was a fun book. Although the inclusion of so many love scenes reminded me a little of the Red Tent, this was not nearly as audatious as that book. It was respectful toward the characters and entertaining. A good Shabbos read.


Blogger SephardiLady said...

Wow. You are really reading a lot lately. I am putting a note to pack my current book in my bag so next time I go to the park, I can make some progress.

May 01, 2006 8:24 PM  
Blogger themarykaygal said...

I just read "Jocheved" as well, and yeah, I had to skip over about half the book! I would say... "ugh, gratuitous sex scene, skip a few pages"--- seemed like at least once a chapter. Other than that though, yeah, it was a cute book. Looking forward to the others.

May 08, 2006 10:44 AM  
Blogger Outoftown said...

Thanks for reading my blog, themarykaygal. I miss yours....what is going on with you?

May 08, 2006 1:44 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

I just finished the same book. At first, I was raving about it and how it portrays both Rashi and medieval Jewish home life in Germany and France and told my rabbi to order it for our shul library...but then after it became a trashy novel (a good one, at that), I decided to tell him not to order it b/c I'm not sure how others will react to it. I'm working on book #2 (Miriam)right now, so I assume it will take the same route.

April 09, 2008 9:47 AM  

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