Rivka's Way

Rivka's Way - Teri Kanefield What a cute, simple read. This did not take me long at all to finish. I read it in one sitting.

I went to the library (no surprise there; I practically live at the library), looking for something different to read. Something brand new and out of my normal go-to genre. Well, when I was browsing the shelves, I stumbled upon this book right here. What drew me in at first was the cover. It was beautifully illustrated and bright with an assortment of colors. So I picked it up, read the synopsis, and thought that this was the perfect book that I was looking for. It's about a girl who is tired of her everyday mundane life in eighteenth century Prague and goes out of the Jewish quarter she is living in, dressed as a Gentile boy, to seek adventure. That right there sounded interesting to me. I don't normally read books that have religious elements to them so I thought, "Why not give it a go?"

Teri Kanefield did a good job writing this book. She managed to write a simple story about a Jewish girl who wanted to see more in life than just her kitchen. Given how she wanted to educate people on the history of Jews, Kanefield kept her writing simple. No overly descriptive writing or long-winded explanations of what's happening. She kept it short and to the point and I think that it served the purpose of the book well. She had a story she wanted the reader to know and she was able to successfully tell that story without having to drag on and on about useless information. I think its length was a good thing. She could have probably extended the story in some places but it wasn't necessary. I love learning more about how life was for the Jews in ancient Prague. It was interesting learning about something I didn't know previously. It was truly fascinating.

Another aspect I enjoyed were the characters. Rivka was brave and rebellious. Given the time and place she was born in, it was very uncommon and downright disgraceful for a young girl to go out on her own, dressed as a boy. But she had the strength to do so! I really liked following her throughout her story. Mikul was another character I enjoyed. Rivka befriended him in one outing and it was because of him that she was able to see more of the world outside. I think it was a good thing that she met this boy and they became friends. There were a few characters that got under my skin. For example, Rivka's parents. Now, I can blame them. This is a different time. Children, especially girls, were expected to always listen to their parents without batting an eye... even if they were HORRIBLY wrong. Rivka had to prepare her life for it to suit her future husband and that was ALL her parents cared about. It drove someone like me, who is very free-spirited and doesn't think one should live their life in order to please a significant other, insane! Needless to say, I wasn't a fan of Rivka's parents. Neither was I a fan of Rivka's best friend, Friedl. She couldn't keep her mouth shut... that's all I'm saying because I am walking in spoiler territory here. Just know she got under my skin at times.

In short, this is a pretty good book. I felt that there was a little something extra missing. For example, towards the end of the book.it felt like the story just... stops. I was expecting a bit of a well-rounded ending but... I didn't get that. And a few of the characters got under my skin but for the majority of the story, I was really enjoying the read. If books about religion don't easily offend you, then you should try reading this book. It doesn't shove the religious aspects down your throat, which is something I appreciate because I am not an overly religious person myself. If you are curious, give it a try. You might learn a thing or two.