Thursday, February 9, 2023

The Promise of a Normal Life by Rebecca Kaiser Gibson -- BOOK BEGINNINGS


Thank you for joining me each week on Friday to share the opening sentence (or so) from the book you are reading. Feel free to share instead from a book that caught your fancy or you feel like highlighting. Please hop around and visit the other participants!


There's a picture of me, at eighteen, on the boat to Israel.

-- from The Promise of a Normal Life by Rebecca Kaiser Gibson. This debut novel finds a young Jewish-American woman trying to find her way in 1960s America and Israel. It launched this week from Skyhorse Publishing and I look forward to reading it!


Please add a link to your Book Beginning post in the box below and use the hashtag #bookbeginnigns if you share on social media. 

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Freda at Freda's Voice hosts another teaser event on Fridays. Participants share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of the book they are reading -- or from 56% of the way through the audiobook or ebook. Please visit Freda's Voice for details and to leave a link to your post.


From The Promise of a Normal Heart:

Polina had gorgeous high heels, also white, that showed under the dress. In the photograph, which was a formal picture from Brooks Portraits, Polina was seated, gazing, so her neck was long, over her right shoulder at the camera.

For readers of Marilynne Robinson, Elizabeth Strout, and Katie Kitamura, the indelible journey of a quiet young woman—the “silent person” in the Seder—finding her way.

Hailed as “radiant and transporting” (Margot Livesey), The Promise of a Normal Life is a poet’s debut novel, so evocative of life as lived that it transports you to a time and place you can practically see, touch, and feel. The unnamed narrator is a fiercely observant, introverted Jewish-American girl who seems to exist in a private and separate realm. . . . 
Along the way, she meets a glamorous hairdresser on a cruise ship to Israel, loopy tarot-card-reading passengers, and Alice-in-Wonderland lawyers in Haifa. There’s a blue-eyed all-American college boyfriend, a mystified tourist agent in the Lofoten Islands, a handsome eligible rabbi in LA, a righteous and self-absorbed MIT professor, and a clandestine, calculating lover in Boston. Eventually, she finds her own compass, but only after being swept to several distant shores by many winds.

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