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Drawing In the Dust Paperback – May 4, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Insight into the world of biblical excavation in Israel raises Rabbi Klein's debut novel from a Jewish Da Vinci Code to an emotionally rich story of personal and historical discovery. After a dozen years digging in Megiddo, American archeologist Page Brookstone longs for something new. When an Arab couple propose that Page investigate the haunted ruins under their home, she ignores colleagues' misgivings and heads to Anatot, just outside Jerusalem. There, the couple, along with Page and her team, uncover murals, artifacts and remains suggesting they have come upon the grave of the prophet Jeremiah, buried with the woman he loved, Anatiya, who also has left a manuscript that parallels the Book of Jeremiah. The discovery ignites an international uproar and violent attacks while Page, affected by the ancient spirits, is attracted to Orthodox Israeli Mortichai Master, despite his connections to an organization opposing her efforts. Rabbi Klein's most vivid passages depict the meditative tedium of digging, the exultation of discovery and the intricate processes of authentication and preservation, while love stories past and present—and a balanced, compassionate view of both Israeli and Arab traditions—add to the book's pleasures. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Lyrical, transformative, and unexpected, Drawing will keep you enthralled in the moment, yet racing to know more." -- Gina B. Nahai, NYT bestselling author of Moonlight on the Avenue of Faith

"Archaeology is the most dangerous of sciences, fundamentalism the most insidious of religious beliefs, and fiction the most seductive form of writing. Mix all three together, and you have Drawing in the Dust.... Zoe Klein will rock your foundations! This is what fiction should be about." -- Kathleen O'Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear, NYT bestselling authors of The Betrayal

"A magically inventive archaeological expedition into love's psyche. Rabbi Klein's voice is enormously literate, politically sophisticated, spiritually captivating, and above all, unique." -- Lawrence Kushner, author of Kabbalah : A Love Story

"Drawing in the Dust is original in every sense of the word: creative, innovative, novel. It is an archaeological adventure that resurrects buried romance. With feeling intellect, the author reveals the secret of the heart." -- Rabbi Harold Schulweis, Author of Conscience: The Duty to Obey and the Duty to Disobey --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; 1 edition (May 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416599134
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416599135
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,728,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Zoe Klein grew up in rural Connecticut. After graduating from Brandeis University with a B.A. in Psychology, she pursued the rabbinate out of a passion for ancient texts, mythology, liturgy and poetry. She received ordination from Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion in 1998. Zoe Klein has written articles for numerous publications including Harper's Bazaar, Tikkun, and Torat Hayim. She has written chapters in a number of collections including The Women's Torah Commentary and Holy Ground: A Gathering of Voices on Caring for Creation. Her poems and prayers are used in houses of prayer around the country. A book of her poetry House Plant Meadow is contracted to be published by David Godine Publishers. Zoe Klein serves as the spiritual leader of Temple Isaiah in Los Angeles. Rabbi Klein gives numerous presentations and is a keynote speaker or panel participant at various assemblies all over the country. She is a resource for reporters in regional newspapers and has appeared as a commentator on the History Channel in "Digging for the Truth." She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Rabbi Jonathan Klein and their three children.

Customer Reviews

It is a love story of poetic beauty; where Klein's writing excels.
Meah True
Ms. Klein crafts a novel filled with symbolism, philosophy, politics, and religion.
Angela Markwalter
Without some of the more distasteful parts it would have been a better story.
JG

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Opa Wayne VINE VOICE on August 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Drawing in the Dust tells the story of Page Brookfield and her search for life's meaning in ancient ruins in Israel. Page is an archeologist whose father died when she was young. Since his death, she has been focused upon her work and denying herself a normal life of love and family.

Page, after 13 years working at sites in Israel, takes advantage of an opportunity to dig beneath the house of an Arab couple who believe that significant relics reside there. Page agrees to investigate.

There is much to enjoy about this novel. Zoe Klein paints pictures in exquisite detail of the archeological dig. We witness the slow careful uncovering of relics and the excitement and joy of each of the prized pieces. I liked the constant reference to Biblical history and Page's regular utterance of relevant Biblical versus.

Drawing in the dust is a multilevel love story. Jeremiah, the Biblical prophet and Anatiya, his lover, died in 556 B.C. and were buried together in love.
Inspired by the spirit of love released when the coffin of Jeremiah and Anatiya is opened, suddenly the world appears to be in love.
While working together, two couples fall in love and challenge cultural barriers. Dalia, a Jew and Walid, an Arab, become lovers and marry. Page, a Christian, and Mortichai Masters, an Orthodox Jew, begin a relationship that must overcome both tradition and prejudice.

I found several faults with Drawing in the Dust. Zoe Klein struggles in drawing a modern female character. Page Brookstone is a flesh and blood woman who is professional, emotional, and often timid.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Paul Stevenson VINE VOICE on August 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was initially intrigued at the concept of this novel: The skeleton of the prophet Jeremiah is found, together with that of a woman. Along with them are found three scrolls: the biblical books of Jeremiah and Lamentations, and a scroll written by the woman, Anatiya. However, as I read the book I found a number of artifical twists and finally, toward the end, an episode of pure insanity on the part of the protagonist, Page Brookstone--an episode that strikes the reader as quite out of character and artificial. I had been debating between three and four stars until I got to this episode; then the debate was between one and two stars. I reluctantly decided to be nice and give it two stars.

The book features many quotations, long and short, from "The Book of Anatiya." It turns out that author Zoe Klein has actually written a book by this title, a kind of female reflection on the book of Jeremiah. It is an intriguing concept, though the text is not entirely convincing as Semitic poetry of that era. However, I can give the author a pass on this. I can even give her a pass on not answering the burning question that pops instantly into the mind of any Bible scholar: Did the scroll of the book of Jeremiah found with him have the long version considered canonical by Jews and Western Christians, or the short version considered canonical by Orthodox Christians, which is found in the Septuagint and at least one Hebrew manuscript among the Dead Sea Scrolls? These are interesting matters, but not very material to the plot of the book, which I will now summarize.

Basic plot: Archeologist Page Brookstone is in her twelfth year digging at Megiddo, and it is getting boring. Along comes an Arab couple with a haunted house who convince her to take a look under it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sharon E. Cathcart VINE VOICE on June 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Zoe Klein's "Drawing in the Dust" starts off at Megiddo, with archaeologist Page Brookstone examining yet another set of infant remains and being somewhat dissatisfied with her lot. Enter Ibrahim and Naima, who have been visiting every archaeology site in the area to talk about the ghosts in their home. Dismissed as kooks by all and sundry, Ibrahim and Naima refuse to be dissuaded in their quest. Even Page sends them away, but then her curiosity gets the best of her. This curiosity leads her to an amazing archaeological find with tremendous implications: a coffin containing two intertwined skeletons and a jar with a previously unknown scroll by a female scribe named Anatiya.

"Drawing in the Dust" is about more than Biblical archaeology. It touches on issues of Arab/Israeli/American relations, the nature of love, and even the nature of humanity. Klein's prose is elegant without being turgid. She draws beautiful pictures with her words. This book was a joy to read.

(Review based on uncorrected advance proof.)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Phyllis Staff TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Drawing in the Dust is well written, but it never really caught and held my attention.

Here's my take on the book:

PROS

1. Lots of information about archeology in the Holy Land, even more about the Jewish culture and religion.

2. Written in a clear and straight-forward style, with poetry set off from the text in an italic font.

CONS

1. I never identified with the characters in the book. Page, the heroine, seemed mostly self-absorbed but rarely interesting.

2. Same with the love stories, both ancient and modern - never had me reading further.

There is a wide audience who will read and enjoy this book -- it just wasn't for me.
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