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Paperback The Rabbi's Daughter: A Memoir Book

ISBN: 0385341431

ISBN13: 9780385341431

The Rabbi's Daughter: A Memoir

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

In this honest, daring, and compulsively readable memoir, Reva Mann paints a portrait of herself as a young woman on the edge--of either revelation or self-destruction. The daughter of a highly respected London rabbi, Reva was a wild child, spiralling into a whirlwind of sex and drugs by the time she reached adolescence. But as a young woman, Reva had a startling mystical epiphany that led her to a women's yeshivah in Israel, and eventually to marriage...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Fascinating journey....

"The Rabbi's Daughter" is a fascinating journey from one woman's perspective. I was interested to see how many peole were completely turned off by this book. I believe that those who were disappointed may have been looking for 'answers' from a Jewish perspective. If the novel is read in that way, I can see why there would be confusion. However, this well crafted memoir, by a flawed, caring, idealistic woman, is far more in line with Elizabeth Gilbert's "Eat, Pray, Love" than a work of Jewish philosophy or theology. This isn't a theological work to bring enlightenment. It's a very raw and real story of one woman's search for inner peace. She looked for it in drugs and sex and being a part of the modern world. She looked for it in the most restrictive forms of Hassidic Judaism. What she finds along the way is knowledge and her own sense of self and balance. I applaud Ms. Mann's bravery for telling her story.


Reva puts everything on the line and does not white wash anything. This book was unbelievably cathartic for me. The descriptions of her feelings and locations were incredibly vivid. It brought me back to my years attending a seminary in Jerusalem. I understood her hunger for spirituality, her desire to suppress her blemished past, and her fantasy about wanting to live a pious life. Although I never got married, I have many friends who did and now live in the ultra-orthodox world in Jerusalem. I am still not quite sure how I escaped the grip of marriage. I wish there was a bit more resolution at the end but it is a memoir, she is still living. I wish her luck and thank you.

Gracious and Graceful

I have not yet read Reva's book though I hope to do so in the near future. This is more in the way of a character reference. I studied with Reva for about a year in the seminary and have been a guest in her home, and remember her as a classy, gracious and sensitive person. Her personality *never* came over as crude, attention seeking or exhibitionist at all, on the contrary. I can only remember good in her and it pains me to see her criticized for her honesty. I'd just like other reviewers to know this about her so that they do not get the wrong impression about her from her revelations. Gila Atwood.

Children of the clergy.. both sad and happy legacies

Reading Reva Mann's story, I had to keep reminding myself this was a memoir - and not a creative and vivid work of fiction. Ms. Mann described her thoughts and experiences in a way that captivated my attention. I would compare her work to the novels of Chaim Potok and Jerry Marcus, who also produced expertly crafted stories about the struggles experienced by those who would attempt to leap from the orthodox world to one that is more liberal (ie, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Zev and My Name Is Asher Lev). All in all, I enjoyed the book and trust that Ms. Mann has found her peace and happiness in a way that will now allow her to write more books that will both educate, enlighten and entertain. (Marion Gold is the author of Top Cops: Profiles of Women in Command and Personal Publicity Planner: A Guide to Marketing YOU).

A moving, enjoyable and educational read

I finished the book on Sunday morning. I enjoyed the reading, and was moved to tears in many places. The way Reva handles the transitions between memories from different periods seemed very natural. She is clearly a good writer with a skill for choosing and juxtaposing incidents to maintain tension all the time and create a "page-turner". I also felt close to all the places that she describes in London and in Jerusalem, recognizing them from having been there myself. I do think that the book is accessible to people who haven't been there though, and to people who don't have a Jewish background, so it's a real achievement in this sense too. (I have lived in quite a variety of cultures, and been influenced by various expressions of Judaism and Christianity, with a sprinkling of other religions and philosophies too, so I think I can say this with some authority.) Even though I already knew of many of the aspects of Jewish law to which Reva refers, I was far more shocked at the descriptions of her experiences of what I would call "patriarchal brutality" in the restrictions placed on her as a woman than I was by any of the descriptions of her misdemeanors. I didn't feel that her descriptions were self-indulgent or gratuitous (even though the acts themselves might have been at the time). In the book, they seemed in appropriate balance to the other events and her thoughts about her unfolding life. None of the events seemed unreal to me either. Those people who can't believe that all of this could have happened to one person must live very, very sheltered lives! I'm really glad to have read the book and will definitely recommend it to others.
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