THE RABBI'S GIRLS by Johanna Hurwitz


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A surprisingly flat, stiff, thin story for the author of Busybody Nora, Aldo Applesauce, etc. Eleven-year-old Carrie Levin, older sisters Abby and Betty, and younger sisters Doris and Erie, are known as ""the rabbi's girls"" wherever they move. And they move frequently. ""You cannot please everyone,"" Carrie has heard from Mama, ""and that was why Papa was forced to change jobs so often."" Now, in 1923, the Levins have moved to Lorain, Ohio--where the new baby will be called Lorain. But there, too, Selena Edwards doesn't dare oppose her grandmother and openly be friends with Jewish Carrie; and Danny Mandelbaum, smitten with Abby, doesn't dare oppose his father and court her. Dr. Mandelbaum, affronted because Papa calls in a Gentile doctor when little Lorain is sick, vows to have him fired. ""That is how life is,"" says Papa after Lorain's recovery, ""both bitter and good."" Then a tornado strikes; Papa is honored for his heroic devotion; and Carrie, feeling part of the town, hopes to stay. On the next page, Papa is dead: a belated victim of the tornado. Preparing to move to New York, Carrie thinks about those who were weak (like Selena and Danny), and those who were steadfast. But mostly the Levins have each other--and Papa, to carry away ""inside us."" With so little sparkle, there's little pathos either.

Pub Date: April 7th, 1982
Publisher: Morrow