Genre: Women’s fiction
When talented Jewish artist, Rebekkah Gelles finds out her husband has a frightening dark side, she wants out of her marriage; but her life gets complicated when she moves back to her parents’ home in Park Slope, Brooklyn and falls for the charming Italian detective who’s investigating her estranged husband. Convinced he’s all wrong for her—he’s not Jewish for one thing—Rebekkah struggles with love, faith, family, and a surprise pregnancy.
Read RMDB’s interview with the author HERE.
The Art of Being Rebekkah
I initially agreed to review The Art of Being Rebekkah (Thanks to the author and her publicist for snagging me a copy!) because the storyline revolved around a strongly religious Jewish girl. Anytime that I can learn about religion in a story setting, I usually snap up a book. Fortunately, The Art delivered a heavy dose of Jewish culture beside a wonderful story line.
There was something special about this book that kept me turning the pages. I think it was the anticipation that something terrible was going to happen.
Rebekkah begins the book married to Avram, who is the owner of a funeral home business. He’s a stifling sort of husband. Always lavishing Rebekkah with gifts and money and things she doesn’t want, everything except for the one thing she truly wants: a child. As the story unfolds, Avram becomes more and more unstable. He’s jealous. He’s possessive, and eventually, he’s abusive. Rebekkah finds out their marriage—and her life—is based on a lie.
When the art gallery where Rebekkah shows her work is vandalized and only Rebekkah’s art is stolen, she knows who’s done it. Avram. And that’s not all he’s done. He’s been funding their elaborate lifestyle with money he’s embezzled from his business.
As Rebekkah’s life unravels before he eyes, she meets Detective Rossi, who is investigating the art gallery break in. Nick is unlike anyone Rebekkah has ever met. He’s sweet and patient and kind…and not Jewish. While Rebekkah fully intends to divorce Avram, what is the point of dating someone she could never marry?
Have a mentioned that I’m having a hard time reviewing this book? There is just so much going on and I feel like I’m leaving all kinds of important things out. I think maybe that was one of the downsides of this book. The story was so jammed that there was no room to breathe. While things connected well, there were too many characters, and at times, I couldn’t remember who the people were.
What I really liked was Rebekkah. She was strong and assertive without coming off as bitchy. She was also loyal, even when people had faults. I liked that she didn’t immediately jump into a relationship with the “hot police officer hero”. I would’ve respected her less. She was very dedicated to her religion and staying true to what she believed in. With that being said, while this book IS about religion, it’s also not. I think that I learned a lot about the Jewish community, but it never came off as preachy, not even when Catholicism and Christianity were brought up. The book was very respectful to Rebekkah’s beliefs and religion in general. More than religion, The Art was about figuring out who you are, and what you’re willing to give up to have the life you’ve always wanted. While I was frustrated by Rebekkah’s stubbornness at times, I also appreciated that she truly understood who she was as a person and wasn’t willing to compromise that for a man.
I did enjoy this book. Like I said earlier, it was special. The writing was smooth, not distracting, making it the kind of book where the words disappear and all you see is the story.
I’d recommend it to people who like clean books. The romance was tactfully done and the book covered A LOT of ground in the space of 400 pages.