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A wise, funny, deeply felt novel about the conflict between mother love and personal pride from veteran storyteller Roiphe (Up the Sandbox, Long Division, Generation without Memory). When Annie Johnson's daughter Andrea hung a sign over her mirror reading ""God Sucks,"" her mother thought it ""a little blunt, perhaps, but an understandable feeling in this modern world."" Annie, feminist, totally assimilated Jewish intellectual (she lectures at the New School), wanted only freedom for her daughter and ""loved in Andrea the sassiness, the rudeness that was her gift."" So she paid for Andrea's psychiatrist, her three abortions, her airline tickets (when she was left stranded by one boyfriend or another), and suffered her daughter's tattoo (of a snake), her punky green hair and her Suicide attempt, waiting only for the day when Andrea would find her way. Suddenly, after five months of silence, Annie gets a phone call. Her 22-year-old has found the meaning of life--in an Israeli Yeshiva, where she lives with the most fundamentalist sect of the religious right. Annie is appalled. Soon Andrea (now renamed Sarai) announces that a husband has been chosen for her. Annie is horrified. The parents of Andrea's ""bethrothed,"" Arnold and Gloria Rose, are equally dismayed, and they meet Annie in Israel to try to get their children back. The Roses kidnap their son, but Annie, still hating all that the sect stands for, betrays the Roses, giving back to Andrea both the boy and the life she's ""chosen."" Then Annie returns to New York and dreams of a rebellious grand, laughter whom she can regale with stories of Susan B. Anthony and Amelia Earhart. A fluid, spicy, unsentimental novel about letting go.

Pub Date: Aug. 26th, 1987
ISBN: 0446673889
Publisher: Summit/Simon & Schuster