Wherever You Go by Joan Leegant
A Novel

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“Timely and brave. . . . Leegant is a masterful weaver.”—Miami Herald

Yona Stern has traveled from New York to Israel to make amends with her estranged sister, a stoic ideologue and mother of five who has dedicated herself to the radical West Bank settlement cause. Yona’s personal life resembles nothing of her sister’s, but it isn’t politics that drove the two apart.

Now a respected Jerusalem Talmud teacher, Mark Greenglass was once a drug dealer saved by an eleventh-hour turn to Orthodox Judaism. But for reasons he can’t understand, he’s lost his once fervent religious passion. Is he through with God? Is God through with him?

Enter Aaron Blinder, a year-abroad dropout with a history of failure whose famous father endlessly—some say obsessively—mines the Holocaust for his best-selling, melodramatic novels. Desperate for approval, Aaron finds a home on the violent fringe of Israeli society, with unforeseen and devastating consequences.

In a sweeping, beautifully written story, Joan Leegant, winner of the PEN New England Book Award and the Edward Lewis Wallant Award, and a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award, weaves together three lives caught in the grip of a volatile and demanding faith. Emotionally wrenching and unmistakably timely, Wherever You Go shines a light on one of the most disturbing elements in Israeli society: Jewish extremist groups and their threat to the modern, democratic state. This is a stunningly prescient novel.

About Joan Leegant

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Joan Leegant, author of An Hour in Paradise and Wherever You Go, won the Edward Lewis Wallant Award for the best book of Jewish-American fiction and the L. L. Winship/PEN New England Award. She lives in Newton, Massachusetts.
Published July 12, 2010 by W. W. Norton & Company. 253 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Wherever You Go

The New York Times

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Leegant — whose story collection, “An Hour in Paradise,” was filled with small gems — seems to have fallen victim to an artistic strain of Jerusalem Syndrome, whereby a previously good writer exhibits signs of imbalance in reaction to the Holy Land.

Sep 03 2010 | Read Full Review of Wherever You Go: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Leegant's debut novel, after her story collection, An Hour in Paradise, follows three Americans who long for definitive answers from their Jewish faith.

May 31 2010 | Read Full Review of Wherever You Go: A Novel

The Bookbag

The only female central character, Yona is travelling from her home in America to visit her sister and large family.

Sep 27 2011 | Read Full Review of Wherever You Go: A Novel

Chamber Four

Wherever You Go is set primarily in Jerusalem and the surrounding territories, though it focuses on the lives of three Americans with complicated relationships with Judaism.

Dec 16 2011 | Read Full Review of Wherever You Go: A Novel

Fiction Writers Review

Last week we featured Joan Leegant’s debut novel, Wherever You Go, as our Book-of-the-Week title, and we’re pleased to announce the winners.

Feb 21 2012 | Read Full Review of Wherever You Go: A Novel

Fiction Writers Review

Here is the beginning of their conversation: Jody Lisberger: In terms of moving from stories to a novel, do you think writing a collection of stories made the job of writing a novel easier?

Feb 14 2012 | Read Full Review of Wherever You Go: A Novel

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