Acts of Atonement

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2021

Acts of Atone­ment is the sec­ond book in the tale of Ser­ach Gottes­man – head­strong eldest daugh­ter of a rigid­ly Ortho­dox Jew­ish fam­i­ly, and Palo­ma Rodriguez — ambi­tious child of a vicious­ly unsup­port­ive Lati­na Catholic mother.

They form a union against all expec­ta­tions and ten years lat­er — when this sec­ond book starts — they are still cozi­ly ensconced togeth­er, delight­ing in New York’s rich diver­si­ty, nim­bly dodg­ing any pangs of nos­tal­gia or guilt. Until an unex­pect­ed death, a seduc­tive offer, and a brush with vio­lence and the crim­i­nal court sys­tem test their courage, fideli­ty — and love. Acts of Atone­ment par­lays the chal­lenges of one devot­ed cou­ple into an explo­ration of a range of broad­er issues, including:

  • Can women and LGBTQI indi­vid­u­als expe­ri­ence full equal­i­ty with­in tra­di­tion­al reli­gions and cultures?
  • Can some­one raised with strong tra­di­tion­al beliefs ever total­ly escape their power?
  • Is Lati­no machis­mo unique, or does Judaism have its own brand?
  • What hap­pens when aton­ing for a betray­al means betray­ing some­thing else?
  • Can we ever be entire­ly true to our com­pli­cat­ed selves?

Discussion Questions