- File Size: 710 KB
- Print Length: 286 pages
- Publication Date: July 28, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01J0JW0MM
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,652 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Michal's Destiny Kindle Edition
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First of all, there is much to like about Michal's Destiny. The characters are well drawn and sympathetic, the writing is engaging, and the book focuses on a less known part of Jewish history. I enjoyed it enough that after reading the first few chapters of the free copy, I splurged and bought the actual book from Amazon. Ideally, I would've given the book 4 1/2 stars, but that wasn't an option so I went with 4 stars instead.
The reason I took off a star was because of a few factors.
1. Although Michal starts off as incredibly frum and dedicated to Orthodox traditions, she changes rapidly after she leaves her homeland. I find it hard to believe that a widow who's horrified at the thought of remarriage, to another Jew at that, changes enough to have a lusty affair while her husband is off playing the field.
2. The book ends very abruptly at the brink of WWII. Michal seems relatively unconcerned about Hitler's rise to power, though perhaps many Jews felt that way. Certainly, most didn't try to escape until the writing on the wall was clear. From a literature point of view though, the book just ends. You turn the page expecting to find a continuation of the story and instead there's an acknowledgement page. Even though this is meant to be part of a series, an ending should feel like an ending.
That said, Michal's Destiny has a lot of merit and is an enjoyable story that gives insight into Jewish culture in the early 20th century. I would recommend adding it to your library!
Michal Habelowsky lived with her family in a Jewish settlement in Eastern Siberia. On June 12, 1919, she was to marry Avram Lippman, an apprentice shoemaker. She had never met Avram and knew only that he was seventeen. Her Father, who was violent and abusive had told her nothing else and did not consult her in any way about her marriage. Michel knew only that she wanted more in her marriage than her parents had. She just had to hope that Avram was not like her Father.
Avram Lippman knew only that his bride-to-be was from a religious family. He had no idea if she was attractive or not or what her disposition was. Avram knew that he wanted more than a marriage, he wanted a happy marriage. He knew that this was most likely not what he was going to get; but he, also, had no choice. He would see his bride after the ceremony when he was allowed to raise her veil. Would he be happy with what he saw?
Michal and Avram’s marriage was destined to be short. It was shortened when the Cossacks overran their village in a pogrom. As they were fleeing, Avram was killed before Michal’s eyes and she was raped. Before she could be killed though, Taavi Margolis, the carpenter she had admired long ago, caught her by the hand and pulled her to the woods towards, hopefully, safety. Michal knew it was wrong for him to even touch her, much less to run away with him, but circumstances were different. As far as Michal knew, the entire village and her entire family had been wiped out by the Cossacks. Her life was changing swiftly.
Taavi Margolis believed the best thing for them to do was to go to Berlin where he could get a job in the furniture business. Although Anti-semitism was in Germany he felt it was much worse off here under Stalin. With the promise of marriage, Michal went with Taavi to Berlin. Would this be the best move for them? Would they be happy?
The rise of the Nazi party and Hitler provides the backdrop for their story. Being able to trust each other when they really didn’t know each other became something they needed to work on. What paths would they each take to try to fulfill their hopes and dreams?
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