Monday, May 11, 2009

You or Someone Like You- Chandler Burr

You or Someone Like You
Chandler Burr
Ecco, Jun 9 2009, $25.95
ISBN: 0061715654

Jewish Howard Rosenbaum and Christian Anne Hammersmith met at Columbia when both were Ph.D. candidates in literature. They moved to Los Angeles when he became a movie producer and they have a son Sam. Both still love books, but in LA-LA land everyone seems to have “disdain for the written word" except in a script or an exposé bio.

Dreamworks CEO Stacey Snider hires Anne to compile a book list for a book club. She selects classics that reflect how she sees her life especially her relationships. Soon everyone who is in wants Anne to pick their next book to read as she becomes more popular in the literary realm than Oprah. Sam goes to Israel to study, but is rejected by the rabbi in charge of admissions as being "unclean" because his mother is a gentile.

This is a very thought-provoking character driven tale that will have readers admire and emulate Anne with reflection on our lives. Interestingly as Sam turns deeply into his father’s religion, Anne feels like an outsider kept from the tent by her spouse, her son, and the rabbis in American and Israel; she feels at best second class. YOU OR SOMEONE LIKE YOU is a fabulous deep contemporary that uses literature as an entrance into the soul of Anne the narrator.

Harriet Klausner

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