Many fine works of literature have been written about the Jewish American experience. Here are seven you may not have heard of, but that merit your consideration.

The Book of Separation: A Memoir by [Tova Mirvis]

The Book of Separation: A Memoir (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by Tova Mirvis

Tova Mirvis was born and raised in a tight-knit Orthodox Jewish family, and had committed herself to observing the rules and rituals of the religion and culture. However, at age forty, she begins to feel suffocated, and considers leaving her Jewish husband and the faith. Tova Mirvis’ memoir takes us back to the rocky time after her divorce from her husband and her entire community, and beautifully describes her courage, honesty and self-discovery on her path to finding happiness.


2 Jews = 3 Shuls (Resource Publications) by Sandra Tankoos

A very respected Rabbi is found murdered in his synagogue located in a wealthy suburb on Long Island. Deborah Katzman is the first woman to become president of the synagogue. She is a child survivor of the Holocaust, and the synagogue’s lay leaders had hoped a woman with her background would be able to reduce the growing friction within their walls. The Rabbi had been growing more and more traditional at the same time as his congregants were becoming more liberal. Emotions were exploding . . . but is all of this enough to cause someone to murder a man of God? Read our review here!


Florence Adler Swims Forever: A Novel by [Rachel Beanland]

Florence Adler Swims Forever (Simon and Schuster) by Rachel Beanland

Florence, now home from college, is training to do what Trude Ederle had done a few years earlier: swim across the English Channel. Her older sister, Fannie, has been hospitalized during a difficult pregnancy. When tragedy strikes, their mother makes a tough decision to avoid upsetting Fannie during her pregnancy. Based on a true story, Beanland’s novel about a Jewish American family features an elaborate web of secrets and long-buried tensions.


Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants: a novel in stories by [Herb Freed]

Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants (Bellrock Press) by Herb Freed

When Ben Zelig graduates from rabbinical school in 1970, he expects to get hired by a spiritually enriched community, meet a nice Jewish girl and start a family. However, Ben’s journey turns out to be one of indecision, worry and loss. But with a little faith, and the help of his quirky Uncle Joe, Ben grows through the years, both as a man and as a young rabbi. Read more about the book here!


The Boston Girl: A Novel by [Anita Diamant]

The Boston Girl (Scribner) by Anita Diamant

Addie, born in Boston in 1900 to an immigrant Jewish family, grows up in an America that is unexpected by her parents. The world of movies, celebrity culture, and growing freedoms and opportunities for women inspires Addie to dream of going to college, finding a career and falling in love. In this delightful portrait of a Jewish immigrant woman’s journey to find her place in twentieth-century America, it is 85-year-old Addie herself who recounts the adventures.


The Hotel Neversink by [Adam O'Fallon Price]

The Hotel Neversink (Tin House Books) by Adam O’Fallon Price

This murder mystery is told over the course of a century from the perspective of various members of the Sikorsky family, a Jewish family living in Catskill Mountains, New York. When a young boy disappears from the family hotel, Hotel Neversink, Alice Sikorsky sets out to discover the culprit. Meanwhile, the family must fight to keep the now failing hotel alive, more people keep vanishing, and a family secret has the potential to wreak havoc.


The Rabbi in the Attic: And Other Stories

The Rabbi in the Attic, and Other Stories (Delphinium Books) by Eileen Pollack 

This moving collection of stories, written from a Jewish point of view, feature complex characters who live in small towns in America. In The Rabbi in the Attic, novice Rabbi Bloomgarten tries to evict her Orthodox predecessor from the house provided by her congregation. It is a story of learning compassion, as Rabbi Bloomgarten learns to accept those who follow the old ways. As a whole, these stories depict the journeys of characters living in a world in which religious truths are no longer exclusively handed down from parent to child.