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review 2017-03-14 04:07
The Mystics of Mile End - Sigal Samuel


Sigal Samuel

Paperback; 320 pages

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (October 13, 2015)

  • ISBN-10: 0062412175
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062412171
  • also on Kindle


It took a while to "get into" this book. Set in Montreal, Canada in a Jewish neighborhood, the story follows a widowed father with his 2 children as the each deal with what being Jewish means to them.


Even with my slow start, I found myself liking the characters more and more. Sigal Samuel's writing style flows well as she tells first the son's story, then the father, and finally bringing everything and everyone together in the daughter's section. Even the neighbors and friends are developed well. A lot of questions, some answers, and an intimate look at each of the major characters as they look for the meaning in their lives.

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review 2015-10-22 23:06
The Mystics of Mile End
The Mystics of Mile End - Sigal Samuel

The Myer family lives in Montreal’s Mile End neighborhood.  The neighborhood is mostly made up of Hasidic Jews and a few random Hipsters.  Father, David is a professor of Jewish Mysticism, but no longer believes since the passing of his wife.  Samara, is thirteen and secretly planning her bat mitvah.  Lev idolizes his older sister and has found a task by helping his neighbor Mr. Katz.  Mr. Katz is attempting to build the Tree of Life out of toilet paper rolls, dental floss and green painted leaves. 

There are a lot of things going on in this book concerning each family member as they go through cycles of hope, fear and loss.  The writing is fantastically layered where details come out one by one.  The characters are what truly make this story wonderful.  Each character is searching for something, something to believe in, and something to hold on to.  Samara and Lev have a great relationship and l love that when left to their own devices for dinner they make mac and cheese with M&M’s and pizza with gummy bears.  As the Tree of Life infiltrates each of their lives, David, Sam and Lev have a chance at falling deeper.  This story is wonderfully complex, one that you will have to sit with and think about.  It combines science and religion, fantasy, heartbreak, family, and most of all, hope.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 

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review 2015-09-18 04:20
The Mystics of Mile End, by Sigal Samuel
The Mystics of Mile End - Sigal Samuel

It’s not often that a man’s children rebel against him by turning to religion. It’s usually the other way around, at least the way most literary fiction. Yet, that’s what happens to David Meyer. After his wife’s death in a car accident, David became resolutely atheist. His son, Lev, and his daughter, Samara, secretly study with the local rabbi to prepare for their bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah. The Mystics of Mile End, by Sigal Samuel, is a curious exploration of faith and non-faith, by way of the Tree of Knowledge...


Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type.

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