Ugh. With a side of ugh.
The Loves of Judith, by Meir Shalev
I did not enjoy this. The blurb:
When the mysterious Judith arrives in a small agricultural village in Palestine in the 1930s, she attracts attention of three men: Moshe, a widowed farmer; Globerman, a wealthy cattle dealer; and Jacob, who loses his wife—the most beautiful woman in the village—because of his obsession with Judith, who insists on living in a cowshed rather than settling down with any of her admirers. When she gives birth to Zayde, all three suitors consider him their son, and Zayde, who tragically loses Judith, imbibes their triple wisdom and their distinct versions of his origins. As Zayde pieces together the beguiling story of the singular woman who was his mother, Meir Shalev weaves a magical novel of the joys and secrets of village life, of an unconventional family, and the unexpected fruits of love.
If anyone loved this book, I'd like to hear from you. It's so well rated and reviewed elsewhere that I'm sure I must have plenty of opposition, but this book was just dumb. Full of mystical, small-town bullsh*t and religious lore, none of it was plausible, no one was accountable, and the characters weren't even likable. Instead of needing to develop a logical and interesting plot, anything weird was just attributed to some magical cultural spirit of twentieth century Israel. It's one big aphorism. Ugh. Please read it so I can get a new perspective on this book I so detested (although I'm sure this post doesn't encourage you to do so).