The Believers

The Believers

by Zoe Heller

Arlene Almas: "The Believers" is a wonderful book! Zoe Heller is a wizard at nailing every aspect of life in New York in 2002 through making the story of the Litvinoff family spring to life. Joel, a widely admired lawyer, and his caustic wife Audrey have been advocates for progressive causes all their adult lives and share a wide circle of friends and fellow activists. Their daughter Karla follows in their philosophical and political footsteps, but has weight, marital, and fertility issues. Another daughter, Rosa, has recently come to feel that something is missing from her life, and it might be Orthodox Judaism (which her parents always held in contempt). The youngest child, Lenny, whom they adopted, is a non-recovering addict perpetually enabled by Audrey. The narrative kicks in with Joel's medical emergency and races off from there, giving each character his or her time in the limelight. I really, really enjoyed this story.
Rating: *****

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