In the Image

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When her best friend Naomi is run over by a car, seventeen-year-old Leora feels even more lonely and different and withdraws into herself. So when her friend’s grandfather contacts her, Leora’s parents are only too happy to go with her and meet Bill Lansmann. However the young girl is not overimpressed by the old man’s slideshows and feels a little awed by his desire to keep in touch with his dead granddaughter through her friend.

From then on we follow’s Leora’s steps while also going back in time through the Landsmann’s ancestors and their trips between Europe (Vienna, Amsterdam, Kiev…) and the United States.

In the Image is also a spiritual journey as each character confronts his or her attitude towards their judaism and religious traditions. in addition, the novel is a variation on the theme of image, weaving the biblical reference of the title, with the photos taken by the grandfather, paintings in the RiJksmuseum as well as the image people have of others or give of themselves.

This debut novel by Dara Horn is a masterpiece and a must read.

12 thoughts on “In the Image

  1. She’s coming to Rutgers in December. I wasn’t crazy about The World to Come. I’m very fussy when it comes to fiction written after 1970. I prefer history or old-fashioned fiction, like Austen or Tolstoy. I suppose I’ll read it, because I’d like to go to the talk, and I’d like to have read her latest book, first.

    Is that OK, to leave a less-than-excited note on your blog? I feel like I should say only the positive.

  2. Thanks for the review! I read “The World to Come” and adore her take on what that oft-quoted idea in Judaism *could* mean — a completely different take on that which we think we know.

  3. MiI, Jendeis, Melissa and Chaviva: You’re welcome. If you read it, I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.
    jewwishes: Thanks; nothing beats your own regular reviews.
    Leora: It is quite ok to leave a less-than-excited note on this blog, I’m not one for (self)censorship as long as it is nicely worded.

  4. I read it, so I came back to comment. You didn’t mention that Leora is from New Jersey, and I couldn’t stop thinking about “our” Leora. The book was intense and hard to put down. An amazing first novel.

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