Book: Casting Lots: Creating a Family in a Beautiful, Broken World
Author: Susan Silverman
Susan Silverman grew up with parents who were, both before and after a devastating loss, atheists. Yet, as a young adult, she shocked everyone who knew her ("But you were elected Class Flirt in high school!") and became a rabbi. What was not surprising, however, was that she built her own big, unwieldy family through both birth and adoption, something she had intended from childhood. With three daughters and two sons ("We produce girls and import boys"), this unique family becomes a metaphor for the world's contradictions and complexities-a microcosm of the tragedy and joy, hope and despair, cruelty and compassion, predictability and absurdity of this world we all live in. A meditation on identity, faith, and belonging-one that's as funny as it is moving-Casting Lots will resonate with anyone who has struggled to find their place in the world and to understand the significance of that place.-Goodreads
Review: Susan Silverman has certainly lived an interesting life, but I found I was interested in things left off the pages. I was specifically interested in her vocation as a Rabbi. She goes into detail how she went to rabbinical school on a whim, didn't even know what rabbis do...and then the entire thing is dropped. Did she ever work as a rabbi? I have no idea. I think her parents were fascinating and my heart broke for their tragic loss. As for Susan herself...I found her extremely annoying. She says they had no money (they had to take out a 2nd mortgage on their house to pay for one of the adoptions), yet her children all attending private school. She goes into great detail about her insistence of her first adopted son being accepted as an Orthodox Jew...yet never mentions a thing about her 2nd adopted son. She also made it seem like the 4yr old son they adopted seamlessly joined their family, I find it hard to believe there weren't any issues. One of her biological kids also seemed to have major issues (punching another child at school) and she brushed it off.
Overall, an ok read and it was interesting to see how much easier adoption was in the 1990s compared to now, but not my cup of tea.