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    A compelling story

    Goldie Goldbloom's “On Division” is the interesting and disquieting story of Surie Eckstein, a 57 year old mother of ten and grandmother of 32, who with her husband, a Torah scribe, lives in the tight knit Chassidic community of Williamsburg (a part of Brooklyn. This community is portrayed well in "On Division", and its many rules and conventions may be surprising to some readers. Throughout most of the novel, Surie keeps a secret from her husband and her family; despite her age, she is pregnant with twins. She has kept this secret because she is concerned that this news would negatively affect her family (as had the news that one of her sons was gay and committed suicide); feeling insecure within her community, Surie regularly travels to Manhattan to help at a medical clinic which treats pregnant women. Much of the novel concerns Surie’s conflicted feelings, but despite these feelings Surie remains an observant member of her community. While I found parts of "On Division disturbing, it was an excellent read.

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