Michael Kind is raised in the Jewish cauldron of 1920s New York, familiar with the stresses and materialism of metropolitan life. Turning to the ancient set of ethics of his Orthodox grandfather, with a modern twist, he becomes a Reform rabbi. As insecure and sexually needy as any other young male, he serves as a circuit-rider rabbi in the Ozarks, and then as a temple rabbi in the racially ugly South, in a San Francisco suburb, in a Pennsylvania college town, and finally, in a New England community west of Boston. Along the way he falls deeply in love with and marries the daughter of a Congregational minister; she converts to Judaism and they have two complex, interesting children. Noah Gordon’s picture of a brilliant and talented religious counselor—who at times is as bereft and uncertain as any of his congregants—is a deeply moving and very satisfying novel.
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Three young men from different backgrounds have graduated from medical schools and become surgical fellows at a leading teaching hospital in Boston. They learn to become surgeons, to communicate with patients and families, and to be observed and appraised by their peers and professors on daily rounds. And each month—sometimes with dry mouth and rapid pulse—each attends the meeting of the Mortality Conference, known to all as the Death Committee, which examines every patient loss for possible human error, in order to prevent it from happening again. How the Death Committee affects and is affected by the lives, loves, and ambitions of three new doctors is the theme of this intriguing and profoundly moving novel.
Roberta Jeanne d’Arc Cole is favored to be named associate chief of medicine at a Boston hospital. She is married to a surgeon. They own a trophy residence on historic Brattle Street in Cambridge and a summer house in the Berkshire Hills.
Everything melts away. Her gender and her work at an abortion clinic cost her the hospital appointment. Her marriage fails. Crushed, she goes to the farmhouse in Western Massachusetts, thinking to sell it, and finds an unexpected life. How she continues to fight for every woman’s right to choose, while acknowledging her own ticking clock and maternal yearning, makes this prize-winning third story of the Cole trilogy as relevant as tomorrow.