Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Blue Thread by Ruth Tenzer Feldman

This is def an interesting read. Never read anything quite like it. That's a point in its favor. This is like Jewish fiction, and why not? Christians have their own fiction, clean, entertaining stories with subtle religious themes or stories.

This one follows a Jewish girl in 1912 Oregon. She has a horrid, domineering father and a submissive mother who "knows her place". Until a prayer shawl with a blue thread and a time-traveling companion from Biblical days appears, there's no way Miriam would ever have the guts to join the Suffrage movement, let alone stand up against her father.

You see, her parents just want to marry her off, but she wants to run her father's printing business. Problem is, he won't even let her in the shop most of the time. Her mother certainly never takes her side either.

The daughters, from Wiki Commons
She time travels back to Biblical times and through her we learn the story of Zelophehad's daughters and how they asked for their land. This was a huge step for women. This was a time in which women had no rights at all, so when their father died and they were faced with destitution and/or dependency and who-knows-what, they asked Moses for their land, so that they would eat and live and the land would stay in their father's line. While the conclusion came with strings attached, it worked out for the best and inspired many women when the time came for us to demand the vote.

What I loved: The story of the daughters. I can't help but notice they conveniently leave these stories out of Sunday school. LOL I appreciate the author finding an entertaining way of bringing this to light. I won't forget it anytime soon. I also loved how the heroine grows a backbone, gets involved in the Suffrage, and appreciated the Oregon history. It was as if by being called upon to help others, she was able to finally help herself.

What I didn't like: It felt unconcluded. I wanted some resolution btw her father and her. I do not believe for one moment that that man just lets her up and catch a train outta there. Nooooo.... Serack...the time traveler was just weird. I never came to like her. She just shows up, kisses foreheads, speaks in riddles, and acts like a robot. No emotion at all. The heroine...was difficult to like at times. She does act like a spoiled brat here and there, but this is a YA novel, and hey, teenagers do act that way. The time traveling was confusing also. It just seemed awful convenient that only certain people in certain rooms could understand the heroine's language. At times, it made no sense.

I'd like to see a book two finishing this. I know there is a book two, but I think it's an entirely different story with different people. As I said above, this felt unfinished. What happens to Miriam? Does she ever make up with her dad? How does she fend on her own? 'Cause for all her bluster, she's never had to take care of herself, fend for food, pay rent...so I'm curious.

Favorite part:

"Don't wrap me up in petticoats and then a wedding veil and pass me along to another man. I'm not a job you can finish and present to a satisfied customer. I'm me!"

I bought this on Amazon.

1 comment:

  1. I've been wondering what you thought of this book since I got it from you. It does sound interesting and with my Jewish background, I may be able to shed some light on some things that were mysteries to you when I read it .