Where Honesty Never Ends.
Note: A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Genre: General Literary Fiction
There are some girls who have their whole lives planned by eighteen. Gaby Kupfer is not one of them. She’s more the type of girl who moves six thousand miles across the world, leaving behind half a boyfriend, one good friend, and a summer paycheck that went directly to her mother. In Israel, instead of a land resplendent with milk and honey, she finds a country quite similar to America, filled with disappointing starts and abrupt endings. But then, in the most unlikely of places, Gaby finds something she’s been looking for her whole life.
Hello and welcome to The Review Board. Today on The Review Board, Harmony Kent brings you an inside look at “A Life Worth Living” by one Pnina Baim.
At age eighteen, Gaby Kupfer seems to be heading nowhere. Somewhat aimlessly, she accompanies her mother and brother on their move from Brooklyn to Israel, simply because she has nothing better to do. Only after travelling six-thousand miles does Gaby realise that the scenery of her life has little to do with that feeling that something is missing. Indeed, she takes her baggage with her and leaves one bad relationship in America only to find one just as unsuitable and unfulfilling in the supposed land of milk and honey. Aside from the weather and the accents, did anything change?
While the supporting cast felt flat, if multifaceted, Gaby comes across as flippant, daring, and a tad off the wall. Full of contradictions, she also shows stamina and curiousity and an unwillingness to accept anything at face value. This girl is a seeker.
I love the book cover, which depicts the story well, even to the point of the girl who stands out from the crowd while looking entirely indifferent. In some ways, this is a book about coming of age, but it also has so much more to it than that.
I looked forward to reading this, and it opened strongly. Unfortunately, the frequent use of Hebrew words and phrases with a total lack of any translation, glossary, or explanation soon proved frustrating in the extreme. As did the long passages on Jewish history, which felt like information dumps much of the time. If the author wishes to use a foreign language in a book published to the north American market, then she needs to provide explantions, or the read becomes tedious. It turned what woud have been an eight-star read into a soft six on the TRB rating scale. This equates to three out of five stars on other rating scales and means it is one point above ‘flip a coin and take a chance if you dare.’ Otherwise, the writing is fairly well polished with only a few hiccups here and there.
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