Historical fiction? Hardly. I'll go with 'Hard to Classify'
"Anyone who finds it is finding a jewel. Its themes are profound and universal."
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
It is the now-classic story of two fathers and two sons and the pressures on all of them to pursue the religion they share in the way that is best suited to each. And as the boys grow into young men, they discover in the other a lost spiritual brother, and a link to an unexplored world that neither had ever considered before. In effect, they exchange places, and find the peace that neither will ever retreat from again....
I'm a little bit speechless, to say the least.
This book was thrust in my hands A MILLION TIMES by one of my best friends and I kept saying I'd get to I'd get to it. We sell hundreds of copies of it at the bookstore I work at because everyone studies it in school. I myself almost studied it last year but it was changed last minute to A Separate Peace. My grandparents are friendly with the author.
And yet, my friend's copy sat on my bookshelf for about a year now.
When someone says, 'it's a book about friendship between a Hasidic boy and a Modern Orthodox one' you're like, Oh, that's nice. I didn't imagine for a second that it would move me the way it did.
The Chosen was written with EXPERT skill. Whole periods of time were described in two sentences and yet you FEEL the time passing. All the stress and worry that any of the characters go through comes straight to me as if it was I who was living it.
And the build up. Dear Lord. All throughout the novel, you can FEEL the climax coming. I had no idea what it would be- the conflicts are subtle and at times aren't noticed. The tension grows and grows until you're ten pages away from the end and you know SOMETHING is going to happen but you don't know what or how and then it's upon you and you're shocked and you cry and OH MY GOD.
I'll tell you right now- there's no dramatic secret or plot twist. But it was the most AMAZING climax I've ever read.
And the friendship. All I wanted was MORE. Truly one of the most beautiful relationships ever written. Can I get a sequel?? Pretty please??
There were so many crazy and genius themes and ideas that I almost wished I HAD learned it in class. The backdrop of the Holocaust made the story even more real to me, watching how the different groups dealt with the trauma of 6 million of their people dead while you were oblivious and the world was silent.
Need I say more? Do yourself and the world a favor and savor this story.