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Jerusalem Maiden: A Novel af Talia Carner
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Jerusalem Maiden: A Novel (original 2011; udgave 2011)

af Talia Carner

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
16620127,721 (3.83)5
In the waning days of the Ottoman Empire, a young Orthodox Jewish woman in the holy city of Jerusalem is expected to marry and produce many sons to help hasten the Messiah's arrival. While Esther understands her obligations, her artistic talent inspires her to secretly explore worlds outside her religion, to dream of studying in Paris - and to believe that God has a special destiny for her.… (mere)
Medlem:AnnaMlibrary
Titel:Jerusalem Maiden: A Novel
Forfattere:Talia Carner
Info:Harper Paperbacks (2011), Edition: Original, Paperback, 464 pages
Samlinger:Læst, men ikke ejet, fiction
Vurdering:*****
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Jerusalem Maiden af Talia Carner (2011)

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This is a very beautifully written book about the little known sect of Jews who lived in Israel during the Ottoman Empire. They are almost cult like in the orthodoxy. Quite frankly I usually avoid books like this because reading about ultra-orthodox religions of any kind annoy and infuriate me. Inevitably woman are subjugated, people are encouraged never to think for themselves, and irrational "laws" govern behaviour, often to horrible results.

In this case the writing was so good that I was somewhat able to shelve my personal emotions about religion from the equation and just delve into the characters and their lives.This is a novel that came from the author's family history as well as a great deal of research. Having read Carner's blog further enhanced my enjoyment of the novel. ( )
  Rdra1962 | Aug 1, 2018 |
Jerusalem Maiden was a book chosen by a friend for a book club reading.

The book is the coming of age story of Esther Kaminsky. She is a young Haredi girl, a Jerusalem Maiden; who's life is pre-ordained, because she is one of the Chosen by Hashem to help in the bringing of the Messiah and the help of the entire Jewish nation. The laws governing the Haredi are extremely strict: no images can be reproduced, no music, no dancing... There are laws to govern all. Her primary "job" as a Jewess is to get married, produce children and work to support her husbands yeshiva study. This is non-negotiable.

The book begins with Esther in her French teacher's home, where she's learning Art. Her struggle to be the self she wants to be and the self that society (or her klal) wants her to be are the very first paragraphs of this book. We first see her as a young girl with a gift of art. She is learning of color and the combination of different colors to make new, different and more rich colors. She is drawing a gecko, but knows that there are laws that forbid the drawing of Hashem's creatures. She is committing a sin by drawing this gecko. This is the set up of Esther's life. The fight between what is in her heart and the religion is she is born under.

Her life is extremely difficult and the choices she makes, make life that much more difficult. Very early on she recognizes her "calling" to be an artist, but this conflicts with what she understands her role in life to be. Esther, to me, was extremely difficult to like. She is by turns, convinced of this calling to be an artist (and she is an extremely gifted artist); and will switch in a heartbeat to the laws governing what a Haredi girl should be. She never makes a decision for herself. She is constantly waiting for Hashem to speak to her through "signs". Except that she is capricious in what she thinks these "signs" are, or what they mean.

She stands in her own way all the time. There are those that are willing to help her, but she is contrary to everyone. If the person is asking to help her be an artist, she wants only to be a Haredi girl. If they want her to be a Haredi girl, she wants to be an artist. She makes a decision to escape, a "sign" will appear and she must stay. She makes decision to stay, a "sign" will appear and she must go. She was extremely frustrating to me to sympathize for her. There were moments that were difficult, and being a parent and a woman, I can understand. There were more moments, however, that I simply did not like her.

I can never speak to the religious pressure she was under. There are, however, expectations that we all are born into. There are expectations that all parents have for their children; that society has for it's people and for their women. I also can't speak to having this gift of a calling (this Primordial Light) that Esther had. But there are things about myself that are true no matter what. I found her to be so different to me, that I felt no common bond with her. As women we all struggle with choices about what is best for us and how will we fit into society. I feel, however, that we must make the decision. We must choose the path we want to take. As hard as it may be, waiting for someone to guide you, or make decisions for you seems self defeating. I could not respect the choices made by Esther.

I felt most touched by Ruthi (and most saddened by her ending).

This was a frustrating read for me. I felt bad for everyone, and helpless about the life the Haredi women have to lead, but then this is their religion. How can you feel bad for that? Faith is difficult and I shouldn't judge someone else's faith; however, I found it foreign and sad. It is a thought provoking book. I just wish I had connected more to Esther.
( )
  mearias | Sep 23, 2013 |
I did not care much for the very plain writing, but this book did get me thinking. It showed me how a person can attribute any events she chooses to G-d's will, and that was an insight I appreciated. I also was pleased with the ending proving that many adjust to whatever is necessary. ( )
  suesbooks | Jun 20, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I really enjoyed this book. A very interesting read about women and the role of religion in their lives. I highly recommend it to others! ( )
  jasminemarie | Oct 26, 2011 |
Jerusalem Maiden by Talia Carner encompasses two themes I find very interesting—women’s rights and the role of women in religion. These two reasons alone would make this book an interesting read for me, but Jerusalem Maiden was so much more. I found it easy to identify with Esther Kaminsky, the main character, despite the fact that I have lived my life in another time and place and in another religion entirely. Her struggle to balance love of God, family, and career is something many modern women experience on a daily basis.
Set in the early 1900’s as the Ottoman Empire begins to crumble, Esther is faced with becoming a young wife whose role will be to cook, clean, and have children, while inwardly she yearns to pursue her artistic talent and create what her ultraorthodox Jewish community identifies as “graven images.” Throughout the book, Esther struggles with the expectations of others and her passion for art.
A beautifully written novel full of period details and information about the Haredi Jews, the conditions of Jews under the Ottoman Empire, and the world of art in Paris during the 1920’s. I highly recommend this book. ( )
1 stem speedy74 | Aug 13, 2011 |
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Evil urge rules only over what the eyes behold.
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To my grandmother,
Esther (Yanovsky) Lederberg, 1900 - 1980, For your untapped genius
And unfulfilled destiny.
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Esther's hand raced over the paper as if the colored pencils might be snatched from her, the quivering inside her wild, foreign, thrilling.
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Ingen

In the waning days of the Ottoman Empire, a young Orthodox Jewish woman in the holy city of Jerusalem is expected to marry and produce many sons to help hasten the Messiah's arrival. While Esther understands her obligations, her artistic talent inspires her to secretly explore worlds outside her religion, to dream of studying in Paris - and to believe that God has a special destiny for her.

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Talia Carner er LibraryThing-forfatter, en forfatter som har sit personlige bibliotek opført på LibraryThing.

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Talia Carner chatted with LibraryThing members from Oct 18, 2010 to Oct 25, 2010. Read the chat.

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