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Miriam's Well Mass Market Paperback – February, 1995

3.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Miriam and Adam have little in common--indeed, they hardly know each other until a high-school English assignment pairs them up. Miriam is a fundamental Christian and Adam an areligious Jew; when Miriam is diagnosed with bone cancer, their backgrounds become an integral part of the story. Miriam's faith does not allow for modern medicine, but she is a minor and the court system forces her to enter a hospital. Adam's father, meanwhile, agrees to represent Miriam in her fight against being treated. Ruby's ( Arriving at a Place You've Never Left ) narrative device--alternating chapters told by the two protagonists--adds an engaging verisimilitude; both voices are particularly distinctive and true-to-type. In sum, the novel explores a powerful issue--faith in God versus faith in doctors--with a carefuly balanced viewpoint. The author manages to remain impartial as she paints lifelike and sympathetic portraits of two complex adolescents. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up-- Miriam Pelham and Adam Bergen are assigned as partners for an English class project. He is happy-go-lucky, lazy, popular, and Jewish. She is quiet, serious, and a member of an evangelical sect. Her Sword and the Spirit Church believes that illness is a sign of weakness and/or wrong doing, and reject all medical treatment. When Miriam collapses in front of Adam and his take-charge girlfriend, Diana, they take her to an emergency clinic and she is made a ward of the court. To Adam's consternation, his social-activist, lawyer father decides to represent the church in its First Amendment defense. Adam finds himself surprisingly drawn to Miriam, and a romance develops. She is treated for bone cancer with court-ordered chemotherapy and radiation, along with touch therapy performed by a Buddhist doctor. In the end, Miriam is indeed well and all diverse groups claim victory. Through the course of the story, cynical Adam begins to mature into a likable, caring individual. Miriam also begins to exhibit some independence, understanding, and inner beauty. Alternating narrative chapters between the two add an understanding of diverse viewpoints. Ruby covers all schools of thought in a sympathetic, informative manner. The picture of the church is not all favorable; Miriam's mother is subservient. Loose ends, such as Miriam's father's whereabouts and whether the cancer will reoccur, add reality and points for thought-provoking discussions.
- Susan Rosenkoetter, Rochester Public Library, NY
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Point (February 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590449389
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590449380
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 4.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,393,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Library Binding
I thoroughly liked this book. I personally don't love reading, but this book kept my attention. The story makes a person feel for each character. I loved the way the book was written. The chapters would switch off who is talking between Miriam and Adam. This way, the reader is able to know the point of view of each character, how they feel and what they are thinking. I would recommend this book to just about anyone who is looking for something to keep their attention.
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Format: Library Binding
This is the story of Adam, a fairly non-religious Jewish teenager, and Miriam, who belongs to a religious sect who doesn't believe in medical treatment and who is seriously ill. They're thrown together by the infamous 'class project' trick writers use (so overused and predictable!), and Adam is drawn to her, even though he's dating the sexiest girl in school. Very interesting read, told in alternating chapters in Adam and Miriam's voices. A disappointing, but inevitable ending, I thought. I had to say I was a bit surprised by it, because I hoped that somehow things would have managed to be different. I highly recommend this book. A very worthy read- Ruby is very talented, able to get into the minds of young adults and yet each of her characters have distinctive styles. Good book.
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By A Customer on March 12, 1999
Format: Library Binding
I recomend this book. It is Fabulous. When I was finished and went for another book I couldn't stop thinking about Miriam's Well and had to read it again. This book is sad and if you cry(which you probably will) Don't say i didn't warn you. Poor Adam!
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Format: Library Binding
i loved this book. i couldn't put it down. it is good at symbolizing how two people from two different worlds who love eachother can never be together. it's sad but it's good.
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Format: Library Binding
I thought this was a great book with the chapter switching and a very good plot. I couldn't put it down! What would you do if you had cancer and belonged to a church that wouldn't let you have medical treatment? Would you just see if a miracle would happen? The whole book was wonderful except the last chapter: Lois Ruby, I thought you'd do better with that! I know plenty of people who are married because of different religon! Think of Romeo and Juliet. There families didn't get in their way! I mean I know Miriam was deeply religious but still....true love is true love. Anyway this is a good book. Pick it up!
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