Read The Outside World by Tova Mirvis Free Online
Book Title: The Outside World|
The author of the book: Tova Mirvis
Loaded: 2551 times
Reader ratings: 6.6
Edition: Alfred A. Knopf
Date of issue: December 31st 2004
ISBN 13: 9781400041619
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 380 KB
City - Country: No data
Read full description of the books:
This is a book that is marketed to be about dating and relationships within Jewish Orthodoxy, but really it is a book about faith - what drives people's faith and belief in God, and why is there such a vast difference between people? It is a topic worthy of much discussion and deep introspection, so it was interesting to see it tackled within the context of Jewish Orthodoxy, a world most of us know little about.
I live in Brooklyn, probably just a few blocks from where this book takes place, so it was very easy for me to imagine their world based on the author's descriptions and what I've seen myself. I also happen to be friends with an Orthodox Jewish woman, so I was familiar with many words and concepts that may have otherwise been more difficult to understand while trying to enjoy a novel. It was interesting to read these character's voice from the inside.
One thing my Orthodox friend did warn me about was that this book may be a little unfairly biased against Orthodox Judaism. After reading the book, I can understand why she feels that way. There is an awful lot about the difficulty of keeping up appearances, the endless rules, the lure of the outside world, but less about why this way of life is so fulfilling. It would have been nice to read more about that.
I also found the various points of view and shifting of the omniscient 3rd person point of view jarring. Sometimes it was hard to tell whose thoughts I was reading, and just when I got used to one point of view, it would change. The same thing happened with time passing. It was very confusing to realize I'd shifted forward months without a clear transition.
Overall, I felt it was an excellent concept and still gave me good food for thought along with an entertaining story, but I wish it had been better executed.
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Read information about the authorI grew up in the small Orthodox Jewish community in Memphis, Tennessee, where I felt both what was grounding about being part of a such an enclosed world as well as what was stifling. This became the subject of m first novel, The Ladies Auxiliary, which I started writing when I no longer living in Memphis. Being away from home enabled me to look back and it and explore my own ambivalence about belonging.
My second novel, The Outside World, is also set in an Orthodox Jewish world, and is about two families whose children marry each other. In that book I wanted to write about the conflict between tradition and modernity, and also about marriage and dreams and belief and doubt.
My third novel Visible City began when I moved from New York City to a Boston suburb. I was so homesick for a city I had come to live, and longed for the anonymous intimacy that comes from living among so many strangers. Visible City is about a woman who watches her neighbors from her windows and becomes entangled in their lives. It's a book about watching people we don't know but about the difficulty of seeing people we do know as well. It's also about a lost stained glass window and about motherhood and the loneliness of marriage.
And now, after these three novels, I've written a memoir called The Book of Separation. It originated with an essay I wrote in the New York Times about leaving my marriage and my Orthodox Jewish faith. After the piece came out I was flooded with emails from people telling me their own stories of loss and change and it inspired me to write this book. The Book of Separation is about wrestling with doubt, about trying to be the person I was expected to be and about decided to change, when change felt as terrifying as anything I could do. I wrote about my experience of leaving a world where so much was scripted for me and trying to forge a new way of life that felt more genuine to me.
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