Friday, March 29, 2013

Doublelife, A Couple's Transition to Orthodox Judaism

Doublelife2Doublelife by Harold & Gayle Berman is a unique non-fiction piece telling how two religiously diverse lives become one. It is written in letter form, each beginning with "Dear" and ending with "Love". The pages of Doublelife are full of sincerity and optimism as they tell the story that spans over three decades and various religious sects. 

Judging the Book by its Cover -  a first glance review: 

When I took this book out of the envelope, I wasn't very excited. The cover does not do justice to this rich, well-written work of art. 

Some Details I Liked:

It was such a pleasure to read a true story written in a creative format. The dates on each letter made it easy to follow the sequence of events even when a large chunk of time had elapsed. 
I also very much enjoyed how the authors were able to portray everything through the letters, including their emotional struggles, as well as the current events. 
A third point that I was very impressed with, is the refinement in the writing. The details included are all complimentary to the story. There are not any immodest parts or stress on anything that could be considered inappropriate for a young or immature reader. 

Who This Book is For: 

The book is obviously great for other intermarried couples that are searching or in the "in between" stage. 
I would say it is also an eye opener for a child of that type of couple who needs to understand the struggle. 
As a frum from birth individual, always having been religious, I enjoyed reading about the emotional and intellectual struggle of what to commit to. 
The Bermans took a life's challenge, looked it in the eye and figured the best way to go through it. It is incredibly inspiring to read along that journey, to the point that I found myself tearing at the ending. 

Who This Book Isn’t For: 

The book isn't for someone who won't appreciate the journey through churches, temples and synagogues. 
The book does not have any major philosophical discussions nor does it teach about Christianity, but it does provide a clear, shallow picture of what goes on in various communities. 

What I Didn’t Like/Would Have Made it Better: 

There were times that I would have liked to understand what happened in those lost chunks of time, but then again, I appreciate how the authors kept the dialogue to be relevant to the sequence of events. After all, a true story doesn't need extra sub-plots to keep it interesting. 
I also would have enjoyed a few pictures. 

In Conclusion: 

The Bermans share their interesting search and discoveries, bringing you with them from when they are officially engaged as a Christian and Jew to an intermarried growing couple to a nice Jewish family. 
It is a gorgeous story, easy to read, one that I'll reread and am proud to have on my shelf.


I received this book for the purpose of reviewing it, but that it no way changed the way I read it and reviewed it.