THE STRONG HAND by Michael Blankfort

THE STRONG HAND

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Hollywood, New York, and a liberated sphere of quite attractive people coats the pill (but does not cover up some bad writing) of what is actually a feeling presentation of Judaism, old and renascent, while the enduring but conflicting romance of Rabbi Leo Berdick and Katy Waterman provides a case in point. It is Ernie Cripton, a playwright of no religious affiliations, who introduces Leo to Katy, a Life-styled photographer, watches their sudden attraction with Jealousy and even more misgivings since Katy, while Jewish, is completely assimilated- and Leo, orthodox, has inherited and is dedicated to the demanding spiritual and intellectual tradition of his faith. Katy, running away from Leo, meets him again briefly- during the war, sleeps with him but is unready to marry him when she finds that Leo wants a holy love- not private sin. Again separated, they meet after Katy has married- and lost- a pilot- and this time she is ready to submit completely to Leo's world. But the Jewish law insists on more than the war department's assumption of her husband's death and when their attempt to find an eye witness account fails, a new moment of decision- hers ethical, his religious, is reached.... Blankfort, at best a popular writer, while not proselytizing- still points the way to the strengthening religious character of his people, encourages it with a vehicle which is not otherwise more than a tremulously toned romance.

Pub Date: Feb. 9th, 1955
Publisher: Little, Brown