Strange Relations

Strange Relations

by Sonia Levitin

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A summer in paradise. That's all Marne wants. That's all she can think of when she asks her parents permission to spend the summer in Hawaii with Aunt Carole and her family.

But Marne quickly realizes her visit isn't going to be just about learning to surf and morning runs along the beach, despite the cute surfer boy she keeps bumping into. For one thing, Aunt Carole isn't even Aunt Carole anymore—she's Aunt Chaya, married to a Chasidic rabbi and deeply rooted in her religious community. Nothing could be more foreign to Marne, and fitting into this new culture—and house full of kids—is a challenge. But as she settles into her newfound family's daily routine, she begins to think about spirituality, identity, and finding a place in the world in a way she never has before.

This rich novel is a window into a different life and gets to the very heart of faith, identity, and family ties.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375891748
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 04/14/2009
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Sonia Levitin is the author of many popular books for young readers, including Journey to America, The Return, and The Singing Mountain. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Strange Relations 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
ZanaDi17 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This story is a pretty good read. It deals alot with the jewish religion, so if you arent jewish like me, it gives you a pretty good understanding of the faith. This stroy deals with pain and loss too, but in a light and sensitive way by use of humor. If you have an exteremely relgious family or know one you will laugh through out the book at Marne comments about her family.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
It seems like such a good idea. Marne knows that her mom's sister, Carole, lives in Hawaii, so she has only to convince her parents that she should go for a long overdue visit to her relatives. She'll run along the beach, maybe even surf and swim in the ocean. Best of all, her friend will also be visiting Hawaii, so there will be no end of fun. When her parents agree to Marne's plan, she knows she's in for the perfect summer in the paradise of the Hawaiian islands!

It doesn't take long for Marne to realize that her summer may not be as flawless as she'd hoped. Her aunt, who now calls herself "Chaya" and her uncle, a rabbi, have seven children. Marne is kept busy chasing after sticky toddlers and running errands for her busy, controlling aunt. She doesn't mind helping out, but the religious world of her cousins is far different from the life she's used to back home in L.A.

Although spending Friday nights at Shabbos dinners is a far cry from the fun-filled, tropical nights she'd envisioned, Marne finds herself strangely drawn to some of the peaceful rituals practiced by her relatives. But, how will this fit in with her old life? Will her best friend, Kim, think Marne's becoming weird? What about Jeff, the hunky surfer she met while jogging on the beach? Little by little, she's figuring out who her family is and who she herself wants to become.

STRANGE RELATIONS is an enticing read for anyone interested in exploring different cultures and lifestyles. Marne is a wonderful guide, who gives a thorough glimpse of the life of Chasidic Jews, as seen by a modern teen.