FSG, Oct 2002, 24.00, 400 pp.
To celebrate his ninetieth birthday, Rabbi Sam Wasserman returns to New York City from Israel. Sam demands that his three daughters attend his gala event even though he has had some differences with them over the years.
His oldest daughter Leah from Sam's first marriage, though sixtyish, still retains feelings that he abandoned her five decades ago when he remarried. Though successful as a left wing English professor with a community commitment, she still desperately wants to reconcile with her father, but can she forgive him?
His second daughter Rachel is actually not of his seed having come from the first husband of his second wife, but is the one who embraces the religion with a fervor that matches Sam. Her world is changing from pampered trophy wife to divorced seminary student if she has the courage to go for what she desires.
The youngest sibling Shoshanna believes she can accomplish almost anything, but fears failure of achieving what she most wants in life. She desires a reconciliation of her entire family.
THREE DAUGHTERS is an engaging character study that digs deep into the contemporary Jewish philosophies that compete amidst the religion today. Each daughter represents a corner of the triangle of Judaism (community, Torah, and family). The strong story line is at its best when the squabbles between the three women provide the reader with a deep look into the religion.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner