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Seeking Suggestions: Novels On Interfaith Marriage

I posted this request on Twitter last night (in an abbreviated form), and now I’m turning to My Machberet’s readers for additional input. Here’s the situation:

A friend of mine is co-chairing a temple book group. Since the temple membership includes many interfaith families, my friend thought it would be interesting to select a novel that deals with interfaith marriage for a future session.

I immediately came up with Joshua Henkin’s Matrimony, but I wouldn’t say that that book is “about” interfaith marriage per se. The fact that the two protagonists come from different religious backgrounds is far less essential to the novel’s plot, tone, and conflicts than are many other themes: illness, infidelity, etc. But perhaps that truth itself makes the book a good choice. So I’ve suggested that my friend consider Matrimony (as well as Henkin’s earlier novel, which I have to admit I haven’t read, but which Henkin himself has suggested deals with interfaith marriage in a much more forceful way).

But what else is out there? Ideas for my friend’s book group? Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

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4 Responses »

  1. it’s not a novel, but Sadia Shepard’s book Girl from Foreign traces her own mixed heritage (Jewish, Christian AND Muslim) with some interesting insights into her childhood blend.

  2. Well, Erika, the novel that comes to mind isn’t such a great choice, though it’s pretty well-known; in the middle-grade book ARE YOU THERE GOD, IT’S ME MARGARET, the book pretty much centers on the fact that this girl has a Christian mom and a Jewish dad…

    I’ll keep thinking…

    Your friend, I think, should be encouraged by how tough this is to come up with???

    • That’s a good suggestion, Susan! I should add that via Twitter, the suggestion of Charles Baxter’s Saul and Patsy has also come up. And if you check this post, it seems that the-new-novel-that-cannot-but-be-named (I’m speaking of Franzen’s latest opus, of course), may be another possibility.

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