If you, like me, utterly enjoyed Notes on a Scandal, the film starring a luscious Cate Blanchett and a ferocious Dame Judi Dench, you probably found yourself drawn to the novel upon which the film was based: What Was She Thinking: Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller. It is an amazing novel and after reading it, I couldn't wait to read more by Heller.
The Believers is her follow up and it completely delivers. When radical New York lawyer Joel Litvinoff is felled by a stroke, his wife, Audrey, uncovers a secret that forces her to reexamine everything she thought she knew about their forty-year marriage. Joel’s children will soon have to come to terms with this discovery themselves, but for the meantime, they are struggling with their own dilemmas and doubts. Rosa, a disillusioned revolutionary, has found herself drawn into the world of Orthodox Judaism and is now being pressed to make a commitment to that religion. Karla, a devoted social worker hoping to adopt a child with her husband, is falling in love with the owner of a newspaper stand outside her office. Ne’er-do-well Lenny is living at home, approaching another relapse into heroin addiction.
In the course of battling their own demons—and one another—the Litvinoff clan is called upon to examine long-held articles of faith that have formed the basis of their lives together and their identities as individuals. In the end, all the family members will have to answer their own questions and decide what—if anything—they still believe in.
You can listen to Linda Wertheimer's review of the book and interview with Zoe Heller that aired today on NPR's Morning Edition here.
I have 5 signed hardcover copies of The Believer to give away! To enter the random drawing, tell me what book you most wish would be made into a film. I'll pick the winners randomly from all entries received by midnight on Sunday March 15th. Get yourself two entries by commenting and/or tweeting or posting this contest elsewere. Three entries by doing all three!