• Paperback: 272 pages
• Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (July 25, 2011)
A gripping novel about the lengths to which we will go in the name of a cause.
Yona Stern has traveled from New York to Israel to make amends with her estranged sister, a stoic ideologue and mother of five who has dedicated herself to the radical West Bank settler cause. Yona’s personal life resembles nothing of her sister’s, but it isn’t politics that drove the two apart.
Now a respected Jerusalem Talmud teacher, Mark Greenglass was once a drug dealer saved by an eleventh-hour turn to Orthodox Judaism. But for reasons he can’t understand, he’s lost his once fervent religious passion. Is he through with God? Is God through with him?
Enter Aaron Blinder, a year-abroad drop-out with a history of failure whose famous father endlessly—some say obsessively—mines the Holocaust for his best-selling, melodramatic novels. Desperate for approval, Aaron finds a home on the violent fringe of Israeli society, with unforeseen and devastating consequences.
In a sweeping, beautifully written story, Joan Leegant weaves together three lives caught in the grip of a volatile and demanding faith. Emotionally wrenching and unmistakably timely, Wherever You Go shines a light on one of the most disturbing elements in Israeli society: Jewish extremist groups and their threat to the modern, democratic state. This is a stunningly prescient novel.
Praise for Wherever You Go:
“Pitch-perfect renderings of individuals torn between earthly and heavenly Jerusalems…Leegant is a masterful weaver whose deft storytelling brings her diverse cast of conflicted characters and fraught themes into a powerful emotional and spiritual whole.” Miami Herald
“Confident and well-observed fiction…A cautionary tale about the danger of a narrow ideology.” Times Literary Supplement
“Very compelling…Equal parts character and plot, it would make a great book club selection.” Boston Bibliophile
“A small masterpiece, small only in that Leegant needs few pages to say a lot. Her book is eloquent, timely, and thought provoking.” Association of Jewish Libraries
“Leegant has crafted a gripping story about the interplay between politics and religion — and what spiritual seekers with personal baggage bring to this volatile mix.” Reform Judaism Magazine
Joan Leegant is also the author of a story collection, An Hour In Paradise, winner of the 2004 PEN/L.L. Winship Award for outstanding book by a New England author and the Edward Lewis Wallant Award, as well as a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award and selection for the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Series. Formerly a lawyer, for eight years she taught writing at Harvard University. The mother of two adult sons, she divides her time between Newton, Massachusetts and Tel Aviv, where she teaches at Bar-Ilan University. For more about Joan Leegant, visit: www.joanleegant.com
Joan’s Tour Stops
Monday, August 22nd: Reviews from the Heart
Tuesday, August 23rd: Life In Review
Wednesday, August 24th: The Scarlet Letter
Thursday, August 25th: Books Like Breathing
Friday, August 26th: A Bookish Way of Life
Monday, August 29th: Life is Short. Read Fast.
Tuesday, August 30th: Rundpinne
Wednesday, August 31st: Among Stories
Thursday, September 1st: Iwriteinbooks
Monday, September 5th: Unabridged Chick
Tuesday, September 6th: nomadreader
Wednesday, September 7th: Lit and Life
Thursday, September 8th: Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile
Monday, September 12th: In the Next Room
Wednesday, September 14th: Wordsmithonia
Thursday, September 15th: Life in the Thumb
Friday, September 16th: Jenny Loves to Read