Seven Blessings centres around the Orthodox Jewish community in Jerusalem, the lives of two matchmakers and several people who are looking for meaning and love in their lives.
The main character in the book is a woman called Beth. Beth is now in her late thirties and is still unmarried, and despairs that she never will be. She is matched with Akiva, a man who suffers with convulsive twitches, but who is also gentle, kind and thoughtful. There is some tension throughout the novel caused by us not knowing is Beth will be able to overcome what she sees as a major flaw.
Judy, one of the matchmakers, is desperate to find her own voice.
Binjamin, a talented artist and student has such a high expectation of any woman he is matched with, that it makes it near impossible for him to find a wife. Will the matchmakers be able to help?
Tsippi, another matchmaker, has been married for many years and feels that she hardly knows her husband, a man who has dedicated his life to religious study.
This is a charming novel, which if anything is slightly underwritten. With each of the characters, who they are is so bound up with their Judaism, that it was something of an eye opener for me. Some of the Jewish vocab was a little difficult to follow but I just about managed and was glad that I persevered. Very enjoyable.
A wonderful novel! Really beautifully written, with characters you come to really care about, this novel explores the many pitfalls in trying to arrange a marriage, and gives a moving depiction of the Orthodox Jewish way of life in Jerusalem. I'm not Orthodox, but I did have the good fortune to live in Jerusalem for a while, and this book totally captures the feel and spirit of that wonderful city. I wanted the difficult main charactes to find and fall for each other, and kept rooting for them.
If love, spirituality, and life in modern Orthodox Jerusalem interest you, you'll love this book.
This is a lvoely meandering story, which gets the reder wrapped up in the narrative and (fortunately!!) ends at a satisfying point. Hope she writes more Jerusalem stories, since any reader who knows the city well will find it easy to empathise with the characters.