Earning rave reviews for gifted novelist Anouk Markovits, I Am Forbidden is a moving family epic that takes us on an unprecedented journey deep inside the most insular Hasidic sect, the Satmar. Sweeping from the central European countryside to Paris and contemporary Williamsburg, Brooklyn, this is a story of devotion and fate, and the choices that define us. Bringing to life dilemmas of love and law, individual and community, tradition and modernity, I Am Forbidden will spark inspiring dialogues in your reading group. We hope that this reader’s guide will enhance your discussion and reading experience.
“I grew up in a Satmar family,” reveals Anouk Markovits, author of I Am Forbidden. “I was ostracized for decades after I left, but in the last years of my mother’s life, I did have access to Williamsburg and other ultra-orthodox enclaves. Once I decided to write about that world, I did a lot of research because there were episodes about which I had no personal knowledge.”
This reader’s guide for Afterwards by bestselling author Rosamund Lupton will enrich your reading experience and inspire and lively discussion with your book club. In order to provide reading groups with the most informed and thought-provoking questions possible, it is necessary to hint at certain aspects of the plot – as well as the ending. If you have not finished reading Afterwards, we respectfully suggest that you wait before reviewing this guide.
Anouk Markovits – author of the critically-acclaimed novel I Am Forbidden – shares books that are important to her, including classics like Lolita, Madame Bovary, and The Brothers Karamazov. She also reveals that Alexander Dumas was a favorite when she was a child; in particular, The Count of Monte Cristo.
“My publishers suggested I say something about how important books are to me,” says Rosamund Lupton, bestselling author of Sister and Aftewards. “I started with something verbose, but in the end it boils down to if I was on a desert island, would I take a tarpaulin for shelter or the above list of books? No contest. It’s been a real pleasure to share these choices with you, and I hope that if you haven’t already read them, you might try them for yourself.”
RIFers, we have a special treat for you this week. Inspired by the Read It and Eat It series at our sister site, we’re offering not one, not two, but three books with this week’s Read It First giveaway. You’ve told us that you love listening to your books, so we’re thrilled to give away copies of the unabridged CD audiobook for The Andalucian Friend by Alexander Söderberg. You’ve also told us you love to cook, so we’re giving away copies of Try This at Home by Richard Blais. As always, we want you to Read It First, so we’re giving away reader’s copies of The Andalucian Friend in advance of its publication on March 12, 2013.
RIFers loved the first two books in this series, and we’re thrilled to share copies of The Doll long before it hits the shelves in June. Some fans are saying The Doll is Taylor Stevens’ best yet. Her take-no-prisoners heroine reminds us of Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander, so this is perfect for all you fans of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo! Information specialist Vanessa Michael Munroe has a reputation for getting things done, often dangerous and not-quite-legal things. Scarred from a life of violence, pursued by her own demons, and as proficient with languages as she is with knives, when a human trafficking ring kidnaps her to transport a high-profile starlet, she’s prepared to destroy those responsible – until she discovers that to save one life, she will condemn the person she loves most.
We’re not overstating it when we tell you that A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is one of the best novels we’ve read . . . ever. Early readers on Amazon and Goodreads agree with us: Anthony Marra has written an exquisite debut. “A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is simply spectacular,” says bestselling novelist Ann Patchett. “Not since Everything is Illuminated have I read a first novel so ambitious and fully realized. If this is where Anthony Marra begins his career, I can’t imagine how far he will go.” We want you RIFers to be among the very first readers to experience this phenomenal new voice.