July 17, 2006

Impossible Belief

I am always attracted to books about belief, or lack of it. Dana Reinhardt has delivered a quiet tour de force that explores issues from the ACLU to religion to conscience to what makes a family and what is worth fighting for.

Simone is diferent, and it's not just because she hasn't filled out over the summer and gotten more experienced with guys like her best friend Cleo. Simone is adopted, and she's always felt a little like a party of one, even though she is dearly and truly loved by her excellent and supportive parents and her cute jock brother, Jake. When it comes to think about or talking about her adoptive mother, Rivka, Simone is closed and hostile -- and terrified. Pushed into meeting Rivka for the first time, Simone finds doors opening into questions and answers and experiences she never expected. She's an atheist -- her birth mother is Hasidic. She's shy about boys and inexperienced. Her birth mother has ...advice! Add in her crush on Zach, who is smart and cute and maybe like the girl everyone says is his 'best friend,' and Just Another Chapter in My Impossible Life becomes a well-rounded, through-provoking and amazingly good novel.

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