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Authors: Naomi Ragen

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The Sacrifice of Tamar

BOOK: The Sacrifice of Tamar
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The Sacrifice of Tamar
Ragen, Naomi
St. Martin's Press (2010)

Praise for the Novels of Naomi Ragen

Sotah

“The pleasures of Ragen’s book arise… from thought-provoking comparisons of Israeli Orthodox and American Jewish life.”


Publishers Weekly

“Richness of faith and family lovingly evoked, with the other side—religious and cultural intolerance—equally given its due.”


Kirkus Reviews


Sotah
is a passionately honest novel. Gripping from start to finish.”

—Maisie Mosco, author of
Almonds and Raisins

Jephte’s Daughter

“An emotionally potent book.”


Kirkus Reviews

“Eloquent writing and vivid characters.”


Publishers Weekly

“Ragen weaves the religious issues throughout the plot so that they become part of the suspense, giving this skillfully rendered page-turner… real substance.”


Jewish Week

“First rate.”

—Susan Isaacs, author of
Long Time No See
and
Past Perfect

“Terrific!”

—Jacqueline Briskin, author of
The Naked Heart

The Ghost of Hannah Mendes

“If you love history and romance, this is a book for you. Using the Spanish Expulsion of the Jews in 1492 as her prism, Naomi Ragen has envisioned a modern variation on Renaissance themes—an ingenious idea that works!”

—Jacqueline Park, author of
The Secret Book of Grazia dei Rossi

“Naomi Ragen delivers a mesmerizing tale about the journey of a discontented and disconnected family as they are lead by ghosts—both real and imagined—to discover their past and their present. Ragen skillfully blends together contemporary voices with voices from the little-known era of the Spanish Inquisition to weave a stunning tapestry that brings fresh meaning not only to the lives of her characters but also to our own.”

—Gay Courter, author of
The Midwife
and
Code Ezra

“Ragen examines questions of faith, responsibility, and the urgent desire to ensure the continuation of a family line… . Ragen’s forte is her ability to forge a connection between past and present, while the book adroitly addresses issues of faith and family.”


Publishers Weekly

“A sixteenth-century ghost helps her present-day descendant preserve the past, in a story by American-Israeli Ragen (
The Sacrifice of Tamar,
1994, etc.) that’s as much a heartfelt plea for continuity as a family saga. A glossy celebration of culture and family.”


Kirkus Reviews

“Ragen’s engrossing novel depicts one family’s search for their Sephardic Jewish roots… . As Ragen presents her fictionalized version of Mendes’s extraordinary life, she captures the terror of the Spanish Inquisition. By weaving together the past and the present, the true and the fanciful, she also shows how much a family’s history affects its future.”


Booklist

“Ragen beautifully articulates what Jews must do to survive in every generation. Highly recommended, especially for Jewish readers.”


Library Journal

“[An] absorbing story… Ragen’s fourth novel is very worthwile.”


The Jerusalem Post

“As with Ragen’s other novels, the bestselling
Sotah, Jephte’s Daughter,
and
The Sacrifice of Tamar,
this book engages the reader with its combination
of history, passion, and spirituality.
The Ghost of Hannah Mendes
is not to be missed.”


Hadassah Magazine

“If you liked
Sotah, Jephte’s Daughter,
and
The Sacrifice of Tamar,
you’ll enjoy this one, too.”


Cleveland Jewish News

“The blending of past and present in the story’s denouement creates a beautiful ending to a story that educates as well as entertains.
The Ghost of Hannah Mendes
has a little bit of everything: history, romance, adventure, mystery.”


The Jewish Star

“Jews and non-Jews alike can delight in these stories of unusual pioneers who preserve a unique cultural heritage.”


San Francisco Bay Guardian

The Covenant

“Gripping, emotionally charged.”


Publishers Weekly


The Covenant
has so much depth, with characters so rich… and a story so frightening it will leave your spine tingling for days, if not weeks.”


Bookreporter.com

“A thrilling page-turner from start to finish,
The Covenant
is not only a mesmerizing tale with finely drawn characters, it is a story of truth and integrity, a multigenerational novel of love, friendship, and duty. This is a MUST-READ book.”

—Faye Kellerman, author of
Blindman’s Bluff

“Naomi Ragen’s books are always compulsively readable, and
The Covenant
is no exception. An emotionally charged and engrossing book,
The Covenant
is a tribute to the power of friendship and the strength of love in the face of evil.”

—India Edghill, author of
Wisdom’s Daughter:
A Novel of Solomon and Sheba
and
Delilah


The Covenant
is as suspenseful as a Mary Higgins Clark novel as you worry about the fate of characters hour by hour, minute by minute. It brings the headlines heartbreakingly home and redefines the unlimited boundaries of lifelong friendship.”

—Gay Courter, author of
The Midwife
and
Code Ezra

“Ragen captures the truth about Israel and the Intifada in a highly readable account with a gripping story line. This work of fiction contains insights that are closer to the truth than many supposedly factual media reports on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

—Tom Gross, former Jerusalem correspondent for the
London Sunday Telegraph
and the New York
Daily News

The Saturday Wife

“The pleasure of this novel is in its mercilessness, with Ragen raising the stakes until the very end.”


Publishers Weekly

“Ragen tells this story with insight and humor, vividly illustrating the consequences of
lashon hara
(gossip). This is chick lit with a Jewish message.”


Booklist

“Ragen does an apt job illustrating the numerous demands upon a rabbi and his wife.”


Kirkus Reviews

“[A] must-read.”


Baltimore Jewish Times

“Sharper than a Torah pointer, a high comedy, social satire with a bleeding heart.”

—Anne Roiphe, author of
Water from the Well

“With
The Saturday Wife,
Naomi Ragen proves herself an adept satirist as well as a brilliant storyteller… . The heiress to such eternally discontented heroines as Emma Bovary and Undine Spragg, Delilah Goldgrab Levi’s story is funny, poignant, and unforgettable.”

—India Edghill, author of
Wisdom’s Daughter:
A Novel of Solomon and Sheba
and
Delilah

THE SACRIFICE
OF TAMAR

Also by Naomi Ragen

The Tenth Song
The Saturday Wife
The Covenant
Chains Around the Grass
The Ghost of Hannah Mendes
Jephte’s Daughter
Sotah

THE SACRIFICE
OF TAMAR

Naomi Ragen

  New York

Table of Contents

 

Title

Copyright

Dedication

Foreword

Acknowledgements

Part One

Chapter one
Chapter two
Chapter three
Chapter four
Chapter five
Chapter six
Chapter seven
Chapter eight
Chapter nine
Chapter ten
Chapter eleven
Chapter twelve
Chapter thirteen
Chapter fourteen
Chapter fifteen
Chapter sixteen
Chapter seventeen
Chapter eighteen
Chapter nineteen
Chapter twenty
Chapter twenty-one
Chapter twenty-two

Part Two

Chapter twenty-three
Chapter twenty-four
Chapter twenty-five
Chapter twenty-six
Chapter twenty-seven
Chapter twenty-eight
Chapter twenty-nine
Chapter thirty
Chapter thirty-one
Chapter thirty-two
Chapter thirty-three
Chapter thirty-four
Chapter thirty-five
Chapter thirty-six
Chapter thirty-seven

This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, organizations, and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

 

 

THE SACRIFICE OF TAMAR. Copyright © 1995 by Naomi Ragen.
All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. For information, address St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.

 

www.stmartins.com

 

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Ragen, Naomi.
The sacrifice of Tamar / Naomi Ragen.
p. cm.
ISBN 978-0-312-57022-4
1. Jewish women—Fiction. 2. Rape victims—Fiction. 3. Jews—New York (State)—New York—Fiction. 4. Blacks—Relations with Jews—Fiction. 5. Families—Israel—Fiction. 6. Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)—Fiction. 7. Israel—Fiction. 8. Domestic fiction. 9. Jewish fiction. I. Title.
PS3568.A4118S23 2010
813’.54—dc22

2010014924

First published in Great Britain by The Toby Press LLC

 

First St. Martin’s Griffin Edition: August 2010

 

10    9    8    7    6    5    4    3    2    1

This book is dedicated to
Manny and Shirley Ragen,
And to Shanie,
Whose courage inspired me
And whose brave retelling
Brought me closer
Than I ever dreamed possible
To understanding.

Foreword

The Sacrifice of Tamar
is the third—and last—book of what I have begun to call my “haredi trilogy,” which includes
Jepthe’s Daughter
and
Sotah
. I didn’t know when I wrote
Jephte’s Daughter
more than a decade ago, that I would be returning again and again to mine the rich lode of material provided by the lives of religious Jewish women. Yet, with the completion of each book, I felt questions arise that I needed another book to answer.

BOOK: The Sacrifice of Tamar
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