If there was ever a book that sat right in my wheelhouse, it’s The Mystics of Mile End by Sigal Samuel. It’s by a Canadian, it’s set among Montreal’s Hasidic Jews, it’s subsumed in the mystical and at it’s heart is a philandering professor. Oh, i did i mention that there are secrets? Yep, you can hear my bells ringing from where you are sitting.
And to say that I was not disappointed by The Mystics of Mile End would be an understatement. I loved it. The story centers on the Meyers family, their somewhat dysfunctional upbringing and the quirky characters that surround them. Each section of the book is told from a different point of view, which is a narrative strategy I love.
But the thing that sealed the deal for me was the way Samuel explored mysticism by coming at it from two directions: the scientific and the religious. Lev’s best friend is obsessed with SETI and the origins of the universe, while others in the book are searching for the same answers through Jewish Kabbalah. Pure awesomeness.
Who would like this book? The Mystics of Mile End is a great combination of storytelling and intellectual stimulus. That is, it made me think – contemplate even – but it didn’t make my brain hurt because the story was so com In some ways it reminded me of an updated, perhaps hipper version of some of Chaim Potok’s work. That being said, i haven’t read Potok in years.
I’d like to thank Broadview Press for kindly sending me a copy of this book for review consideration.
This sounds right up my alley. Big fan of Potok but I’ve always felt his novels were underrated here in the UK
I don’t really know how big he was in North America. When i was a teenager I found his books scattered around our house and read them all. I was probably too young to understand them entirely, but i loved them.
This book will be available in the UK in November.
Thanks, I’ll look out for it.
This is the first I’ve heard of this book, and it sounds great! Thanks for the review!
It’s got my name all over it! Can’t wait to get a copy in my hands!
I definitely think you’ll like it.
Not a book I’ve heard of before but after reading your review definitely a book I would like!
It’s only available in Canada right now. Comes out in UK in the fall, November I believe.
This sounds seriously amazing. You got me with this:
Samuel explored mysticism by coming at it from two directions: the scientific and the religious. Lev’s best friend is obsessed with SETI and the origins of the universe, while others in the book are searching for the same answers through Jewish Kabbalah. Pure awesomeness.
That sounds like something I would LOOOOOOVE.
It is awesome. Available in the US in the fall.
Ditto! This is what got me, too!
You got me around the time you said Chaim Potok. Hmm. His books were very very very good!
I think he’s what made me fall in love with reading.
I haven’t read Potok in years, either, but I have found memories from high school. This sounds good!
Ahh, this book sounds fantastic! It has plenty of great elements to it–a dysfunctional family of sorts, it’s set in Canada, is written by a Canadian (need to read more Canada! xD), main character is a professor–yup, I’m totally sold, will keep a lookout for it 😉 Great review!
I hope you like it. It reads like a first novel, but a very good one.
I don’t often read books of this sort, but I like the sound of this one and the two different ways its tackled. It, to me, sounds like it might be a combination of The Divorce Papers and The Raven Boys with a more literary style (although I could be entirely wrong.)
I think a comparison to The Raven Boys could be made.
Aaaand added to my TBR! Thanks!
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