Cynthia Good teaches a mini-course on the novel, You Are Not What We Expected, by Sidura Ludwig, WINNER OF THE 2021 VINE AWARD FOR BEST JEWISH FICTION.
This intimate collection of connected stories is an exquisite portrait of a familiar Jewish community – Thornhill. We meet the secular and religious families who inhabit it and the tensions that exist there, in people and situations that illuminate the unexpected ways we remain connected during times of change.
Each story is told from the perspective of a different individual, and many characters appear in more than one story. In this way, the reader eventually comes to understand the characters from a variety of views and situations. At the centre is the Levine family, and the book spans fifteen years in their lives. These gently humorous and wholly compassionate stories skilfully and lucidly depict the subtle (and not-so-subtle) tensions that simmer within families.
This will also give us the opportunity to discuss the form of the connected story collection from Alice Munro’s Lives of Girls and Women to Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge.
We are also fortunate to include a recording interview between the author and Cynthia.
“I fell more and more in love with the people in these linked stories…Each reveals a striking new facet of the experience, a shift in perspective, an unexpected complication…Written with warmth, clarity, and compassion, You Are Not What We Expected is surprising, engrossing and heartbreaking.” Sarah Selecky
“Storytelling with a heartbreaking comedic sense of timing. Ludwig’s prose is by turns touching, funny, beautiful, and sad.” Vine Awards Jury Citation
Please join us in person or online for this two-part series to discuss this illuminating book about characters familiar and surprising.
Sponsor: Schwartz/Reisman Centre for Adult Jewish Learning at Holy Blossom Temple