Seven Blessings

A Novel

Ruchama King

St. Martin's Griffin

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The closed, secret world of matchmaking in contemporary Israel provides the titillating pivot for a story of uncommon proportions. In Ruchama King's skillful hands, Seven Blessings maps out the complicated lives of five expatriate women and men whose search for a soul mate, in many ways, mirrors their search for God.

At the center of this fascinating novel is Beth, who at age thirty-nine longs to be married but despairs she ever will be. When she finally meets the man of her dreams, he has what she believes to be an insurmountable flaw. Can she overcome her repugnance in order to forge a new life? Binyamin, a talented painter and student, lacks the humility to identify a worthy wife. He strains the matchmakers' patience until his search for perfect love finally becomes ridiculous, even to himself. Tsippi and Judith, the matchmakers, are stumbling themselves, with marriages that need propping up. In this land of miracles, seeking the right match, whether between singles, husband and wife, student and teacher, or man and God, becomes a quest that opens the Bible to us in a new way.

Rich characters, an intriguing setting, writing that offers unique nuances, and ultimately a story that keeps you turning the pages all combine to introduce a remarkable newcomer. Seven Blessings redefines the Jewish experience, with a story that will ring with truth for anyone who's ever considered getting married.

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Book Excerpts

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Chapter One

Tsippi Krauthammer noticed things about her customers, but the American woman caught her interest more than the others for a simple reason: Tsippi made matches, arranged blind dates with all kinds of people, and here might be an opportunity to make a shidduch. She gravitated toward the difficult ones, the ones other matchmakers were reluctant to touch, those who had given up hope: a widow with seven young children, men missing parts of their bodies from the wars, a professor who had twenty-seven rabbits in his living room and wouldn't let a single one go.

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Reviews

Praise for Seven Blessings

"While the machinations of matchmakers have long been a staple of fiction, King's debut novel puts a fresh spin on the subject....King's portrayal of a religious community is as warm and engaging as any in contemporary literature. Her characters jump off the page and into the hearts of her audience...charming, spiritual tale."
- Library Journal

"A gentle evocation of love and faith in Jerusalem's Orthodox community....King then seems, like a Jewish Jane Austen....Much of the story's strength rises from King's generous description of Jerusalem....A tender enlightening debut that, urban setting aside, reads like a comedy of provincial manners."
- Kirkus

"Two Orthodox Jewish matchmakers strive busily to marry off their neighbors in this bustling debut novel set in modern-day Jerusalem...her richly detailed descriptions of Jerusalem (the reader can almost smell the falafel frying) and her sympathetic characters make this a fully realized novel."
- Publishers Weekly

"It shimmers...Its setting is suffused with the glint of Jerusalem light, its characters infused with the city's spirituality....In short, a gem of a novel." --Jewish News of Greater Phoenix

"Ruchama King successfully marries the romantic and the religious, the ancient and the modern, in a captivating tale about modern day match-making among the newly pious Americans who have made Israel their home. What I loved most about this spell-binding first novel, was the reader's total immersion in a world of ritual and longing."
-Helen Schulman, author of P.S. and The Revisionist

"With warmth, wisdom, and an abundance of affection, Ruchama King opens up a fascinating world. Mining the everyday moments of her characters' lives, she expertly explores love and marriage, belief and hope." -Tova Mirvis, author of The Ladies Auxiliary

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"Arranged marriages will never look the same. Ruchama King transforms the life of Orthodox Jerusalem into the universal terms of love and courtship--and yes, real intimacy and self-fulfillment. A perceptive and charming book." -Risa Miller, author of Welcome to Heavenly Heights

"Ruchama King is herself a great matchmaker--between the sensual and the ethereal, between subtle storytelling and startling revelation. Her novel moves with a grace I have not encountered. What a loss it would have been to have never read it, or for her to have never written it." - Stephen J. Dubner, author of Turbulent Souls and Confessions of a Hero Worshipper

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About the Author

Ruchama King

Ruchama King lived, studied, and taught in Jerusalem for ten years. Her short stories have appeared in various magazines and journals. She now lives in New Jersey with her husband and children. Seven Blessings is her first novel.

Ruchama King

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Available Formats and Book Details

Seven Blessings
A Novel
Ruchama King

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin
November 2004
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312309169
ISBN10: 0312309163
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 272 pages
$18.99

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
November 2004
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781466835283
ISBN10: 1466835281
272 pages
$7.99
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