[Book Review] The Prophetess by Evonne Marzouk

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By Evonne Marzouk

When Rachel loses her grandfather, a survivor of the Shoah, during her senior year of high school, she finds herself seeking answers to questions with no one to answer them. The rest of her nuclear family is not observant of their Orthodox faith. Rachel finds herself with a large number of questions and no teacher from whom to seek answers. That is until she meets Yonatan at High Holidays service. This chance meeting changes the shape of her life.

Rachel’s story encompasses a number of themes within this coming of age tale. It’s a story of love, grief, and self-discovery. It is primarily geared toward young adults but given it deals with some very big emotions and life-shaping events I felt it resonated well, as an adult reader. Marzouk does a nice job of interweaving concepts of Jewish mysticism at an introductory level.

This book would make for an interesting discussion in a confirmation or youth group setting. It presents thought-provoking themes about finding personal meaning in ritual and the individual soul’s purpose in this world, with the protagonist gaining understanding of her abilities as a prophetess. While it’s not explicitly discussed in the narrative, I appreciated the underlying elements of the principle of Tikkun Olam.

I’d like to thank the author for a free copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

About the Author

Roni Robbins

Evonne Marzouk has spent her career in pursuit of inspiring others, making a difference, and bringing Jewish wisdom into the world. She grew up in Philadelphia and began writing and publishing poems and stories as a young child. Evonne attended the Johns Hopkins University and received a B.A. from the Writing Seminars program, with a minor in Religious Studies. Evonne founded and is the former director of Canfei Nesharim (recently merged with GrowTorah), an organization that teaches Jewish wisdom about protecting the environment. Evonne began work for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1999 and has played key roles in work on the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, the Minamata Convention on Mercury, and the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint. Throughout all these activities, publishing a novel has been one of Evonne’s lifelong dreams. She is incredibly grateful, and sometimes amazed, that the moment has finally arrived.

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Past Book Reviews:

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