A bit neurotic?

Protagonist is a bit of an enigma. Breaking away from his ultra orthodox family, seeming to glory in his role as the black sheep of the family, Larry undergoes an offstage conversion, emerging as an orthodox rabbi with kids and a devout wife. Why offstage, I ask. Reader is never enlightened about his about face on religion.


The story revolves around Larry's need to atone for his refusal to say kaddish (prayer for his dead father) for the required eleven months. Instead he hires an onsite company, kaddish.com, to take over the difficult task for a fee. He does this with the rabbi's blessing.


Teaching in a yeshiva, with the help of some students, he discovers the location of the company in Jerusalem and determines to take back from them what he sees as his responsibility.  He flies to Israel and uncovers the plot to defraud the consumers. Yet rather than blame the culpable, he moves his family to Israel and determines to right the company's wrongs.


I'm curious about Englander's own view of his character who strikes me as consumed with guilt (not warranted) and a bit unbalanced. His wife does not even understand why he does not forgive himself.


Interesting work but raises more questions than it answers.

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