Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Book Review: The Saturday Wife

Preface to the review: Let me begin with the fact that I have never given an actual review before but with so many books and readers out there I thought my reviews/opinions might help others. Please give me some feedback (either through comment or email) and let me know if a book review helps you.

The Book: The Saturday Wife

The Author: Naomi Ragen

The Premise: Modern day young orthodox life experiences and the main character,
Delilah's struggles between her desires and following tradition.

My Opinions and Comments: I checked out this book from the temple library months ago and about a fourth of the way through I realized I didn't like it. Normally, I love anything by Naomi Ragen (I highly recommend The Covenant if you haven't read it yet.) but this one left much to be desired. Still by the time I had made it half-way through I felt committed to completing the book. I had hopes that maybe something would happen to change my mind. Nope, I still didn't like it and here is why: The main character Delilah, although very real and not the usual Ragen martyr, disgusted me with how shallow she was. She was everything that drives me crazy about people. Delilah was materialistic, scheming, cruel, and willing to use and then stomp all over everyone and anyone , including her husband, to attain the social and financial standing she desired and felt entitled to.

After making life altering mistakes during her college years Delilah prayed and begged if given a second chance she would change her wild ways and become the perfect Rabbi's wife.

She met and married Chaim Levi, an aspiring Rabbi, not because she loved him but to prove to herself and others that she could be more than just poor Delilah Goldgrab. Once attaining the coveted title of Rebbitzin she still found herself wanting more. Delilah pressured Chaim into taking a position at a congregation that had been black balled for ousting a past Rabbi to satisfy their own selfish needs. Poor Chaim, always wanting to make Delilah happy complied with her every wish. He struggled to give her all of the excess of material comforts that she demanded and still Delilah was left wanting and Chaim miserable feeling as if he hadn't done enough for her.

It was quite painful for me to read this story of how one person destroyed so many lives during her quest for financial and social status.

Recommendation/Rating (Scale of 1 to 5 *s): Pass on this one. ** (2 stars)

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