Joshua Hammer tells the story of his brother Tony's upbringing as a secular Jew and subsequent conversion to Hasidic Judaism. In the struggle to come to terms with his brother's life altering decision the writer not only finds sympathy and understanding for Tony's decision, but he comes upon self-awareness and a sense of belonging in Tony's new life. Mr. Hammer tackles his brother's tale like the professional journalist that he is by interviewing his family, sifting through past history and taking numerous visits to the town of Monsey, NY to experience aspects of the Hasidic life style.
The novel is a very moving story of family upheaval, the search for meaning in life and a startling look at religious devotion. It is at times touching and at other times shocking, but all the while a mesmerizing odyssey.
This report prepared by David Fletcher