Fiction The Marrying of Chani Kaufman by Eve Harris | Book review roundup | The Omnivore

Published on July 23rd, 2013


The Marrying of Chani Kaufman by Eve Harris

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Blurb: 19 year-old Chani lives in the ultra-orthodox Jewish community of North West London. She has never had physical contact with a man, but is bound to marry a stranger. The rabbi’s wife teaches her what it means to be a Jewish wife, but Rivka has her own questions to answer. Soon buried secrets, fear and sexual desire bubble to the surface in a story of liberation and choice; not to mention what happens on the wedding night. (Sandstone Press)

Kate Saunders, The Times

“Harris writes of this closed world with knowledge and understanding, and highly observant, slightly acidic humour. Deservedly longlisted for the Booker.”

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Sue Fox, The Daily Express

“… not particularly good writing but it works well enough. Harris knows the people she has created and is good on details.”

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Catherine Taylor, The Guardian

“Harris’s eye for suburban social mores is wickedly acute, as is her evident relish in describing both the sensual life and its absence. While perhaps too breezily written to take it further in the Booker stakes, her book has the potential to be that rare thing – a crowd-pleaser about Orthodox Judaism.”

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David Evans, The Financial TImes

“… a muddled narrative structure and some rather gauche prose …”

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Tom Macauley, The Sunday Times

“Harris is humorous and clement throughout with her characters. The dialogue, though, is patchy — alive in pleasantry but undigested when load-bearing — and so her instinct for dramatic if conventional situations rarely meets with great scenes.”

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