Here I Am

Hardcover, 592 pages


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4 stars (2 reviews)

Unfolding over four tumultuous weeks in present-day Washington, D.C., Here I Am is the story of a fracturing family in a moment of crisis. As Jacob and Julia Bloch and their three sons are forced to confront the distances between the lives they think they want and the lives they are living, a catastrophic earthquake sets in motion a quickly escalating conflict in the Middle East. At stake is the meaning of home - and the fundamental question of how much aliveness one can bear.

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Review of 'Here I Am' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Here I am--now what?

Jonathan Safran Foer named his novel for Abraham's answer when God called him. He explores what these words can mean in different situations, for different people in his life.

We, the readers, see the Bloch family mostly through Jacob's eyes, and his story is about finding his own identity in a world full of noisy distractions, diversions, virtual realities, confusing politics, and cultural diversity. Jacob was raised in a Jewish family by people who had seen horrible times in Europe, and therefore his worldview is informed first and foremost by his familial culture, even if he himself is not particularly religious.

This is a beautifully written novel, in which Jacob explores his place in the world, his life, and his children's lives. There are family members who want him to feel that Israel is his true home, though he has always lived in America. Meanwhile, he …

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3 stars