HOPE IS MY HOUSE by Devorah Wigoder


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The story of how Catholic, Irish-American Jane Emmet MacDwyer becomes Israeli citizen Devorah Emmet Wigoder holds an inherent fascination, for such a total conversion has its novelty. In this spirited spiritual autobiography, Mrs. Wigoder moves from her early Catholic years to her revulsion at social injustice, her embracing of Judaism, and her subsequent contentment. It's a zealous, well-rendered, sturdy manifesto of traditional Jewish faith. Mrs. Wigoder is gifted with humor, a flair for the dramatic, and an infectious confidence. The first half of her book, which includes her experiences at acting school, with racial prejudice in Atlanta, and the heartbreak of her family's ostracism, is the better. As the narrative continues into her Jewish years, it takes a contemplative turn which tends to slow it down. Quite critical of American dollar worship and social inequities, she finds in Israel the joys of agrarian life and the commitment to ethical conduct she had sought from an early age. Mrs. Wigoder is a strong and gifted woman and retains her American ""Go-getter"" spirit. This quality, plus her fervor, may put off readers of lower-keyed taste, while those who warm to her warmth may be disappointed by the latter, more impersonal part of the book. These obstacles aside, she has written a generally absorbing, at times eloquent story.

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 1966
Publisher: Prentice-Hall