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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
Prodigal Children in the House of G-d by Yermiyahu Ahron Taub is a collection of stories that tackles diverse topics ranging from family relationships, religion, beliefs, upbringing, sexual desires, and more that will help readers perceive the world around them with a better understanding. Divided into two sections, Section 1: Daughters and Section 2: Sons, the stories tie in beautifully and introduce readers to various characters with whom they will be able to relate. Set against the backdrop of the Jewish culture, the stories speak of a conventional society where many choices and behaviors when it came to conducting oneself in public and living life were not acceptable, and where the desperation and angst of the characters leave a lasting imprint on the minds of readers. The stories also address the issues of the generation gap and the problems that arise when conventional society meets modern society. This makes it an engaging and interesting collection.
Whether it is the story of Madame Maisie and her rooming house, or Sylvia and her letters filled with news from her home, graduation, the births, deaths, bar mitzvahs, or the story of Yente and her husband, readers are treated to unique and different stories and characters that make the book an entertaining read. A glossary of the Yiddish and Jewish terms and a note on pronunciation and transliteration are indeed helpful to readers when it comes to getting accustomed to the Jewish words. The author's writing style is neat and elegant yet descriptive and crisp at the same time, and these bring the characters alive and make the stories palpable and interesting.