When Ari Goldman was six, his parents divorced. They were as different as the North and South poles. Goldman remained part of each of their lives through his commitment to 1950's-style Orthodox Judaism. In September 1999, Ari Goldman turned fifty. He had a party. The next morning he got a call. His father, 77, was dead in Jerusalem. The funeral would be in a few hours, since Shabbat would soon begin in Israel. Goldman tore his shirt and began to mourn. He sat shiva for his father only one day, since Sukkot started the next day. He went on to mourn for his father for the required 30 days, and then the full 11 months. Ari inherited his father's tallit (which he wore and made his own). In this memoir, he tells the reader about the people he touched and those who touched him during his year of saying kaddish. He writes that while the kaddish will not bring back the dead, it will bind one to the community horizontally, and redeem a death vertically. Ari finds that so many people have their own kaddish stories to share with him, and he shares some with us. In this book, he knits a story being an "avel", of mourning, of loss (loss of parents, loss of one's regular seat in the synagogue). He writes about mentoring, on modeling an upright life to his kids, and his brand of Fifties-style Judaism. There are also asides on the various people he meets when he seeks out shuls in which to say kaddish on the road. He explores his daughter's conflicts when she is forced to move to the women's side of the mechiza at the age 12. He reflects upon the power of the kaddish and how the passage of time changes his approach to the prayer and the process. He honestly asks himself why he tells people he is mourning. Is it a badge on his lapel? Is he seeking some sort of status? Comfort? Honor? It is a story of loss, of growth, as well as the fascinating story of how his neighborhood shul became resurrected.