The Tenth Song

  • Review
By – September 26, 2011
This sto­ry describes the sud­den Job-like tra­vails of a suc­cess­ful, wealthy Jew­ish Amer­i­can mod­ern Ortho­dox fam­i­ly. Abi­gael Samuels’ hus­band Adam has hon­est­ly worked his way up in the world, achiev­ing high end mate­r­i­al com­forts and social sta­tus in his com­mu­ni­ty. When their hard-earned world begins to crum­ble around them, the truth about their friends and rabbi’s loy­al­ty emerges. Cod­dled, youngest daugh­ter Kay­la, who is a Har­vard law stu­dent and about to get mar­ried, is most affect­ed by the dra­mat­ic changes and neg­a­tive pub­lic­i­ty. Kay­la makes a spon­ta­neous self­ish deci­sion which rad­i­cal­ly changes her family’s dynam­ics and the course of her family’s future. As in her pre­vi­ous book, The Sat­ur­day Wife, Ragen open­ly airs her polit­i­cal and reli­gious view­points through her sto­ry­telling and is judg­men­tal about the pri­or­i­ties of today’s Jew­ish Amer­i­can way of life. This is a fast paced tale with beau­ti­ful detail. Although the author some­times depicts stereo­typ­i­cal char­ac­ters in unre­al­is­tic sit­u­a­tions, it is still enjoy­able to read and discuss.
Miri­am Brad­man Abra­hams is a Cuban-born, Brook­lyn-raised, Long Island-resid­ing mom. She is Hadas­sah Nas­sau’s One Region One Book chair­la­dy, a free­lance essay­ist, and a cer­ti­fied yoga instruc­tor who has loved review­ing books for the JBC for the past ten years.

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