This is another amazing debut novel. It’s a ghost story and a suspense thriller and a murder mystery. Majorie and her sister Holly, now Chava to accompany her conversion to orthodox Judaism, have a strained relationship. Marjorie’s parents have moved to Florida for retirement and her grandfather, Eli, has passed away. Marjorie has buried herself in her doctoral research on the Wandering Jew. She emerges from her library to go through her grandfather’s things, which her sister has moved to the basement of their childhood home in order to make room for the baby that is due soon. In the books, Marjorie finds a composition notebook filled with her grandfather’s writing. She recalls seeing her father come home with four such notebooks after her grandfather’s death, but she cannot find the other three.
What had been an academic exercise becomes urgently personal as Marjorie desperately works to unravel the connections between the White Rebbe and her family and finds herself the center of the story rather than the objective observer.
Guilt, redemption, wish fulfillment, magic, and the way the present cannot escape the past mingle to create a suspense story that had me turning pages anxiously right to the end.