Intentions by Deborah Heiligman263 pgs.
Target audience: Young adult
Rachel idolizes Rabbi Cohn, a man she trusts, a man who is always willing to listen when she’s troubled and impart sage advice. However one day in the temple she overhears the Rabbi having sex with a woman who is not Mrs. Cohn. Rachel’s well ordered world begins to crumble as the knowledge of this secret weighs upon her. The lessons, the advice, all she has learned from the Rabbi come into question. Her parents are fighting and her grandmother has been deteriorating ever since her husband died. Rachel’s anger and disgust peak when she spies the Rabbi kissing her own mother. Her best friend, Alexis, acts like she’s outgrown her and does what she can to make Rachel feel like an outsider. Her boyfriend, Jake, is handsome and kind and their relationship seems perfect until an unfortunate incident with the Rabbi’s son jeopardizes it. The last remaining threads of her life shatter after a shoplifting episode with Alexis and the hospitalization of her grandmother. The story is told from the perspective of Rachel as an adult looking back. This is a contemporary, honest story about a young girl’s struggle with fallen heroes, faith, betrayal, love and most of all kavanah, the concept of acting with intention. Rachel’s inner monologues are authentic and will speak well to a teen audience.
(This book provided for review by Children's Lit - www.childrenslit.com)