The Best Place on Earth by Ayelet Tsabari [Book Review]

Ayelet Tsabari creates very sexual characters. What are weird way to start a review. In a day and age where everyone feels repressed and censored, at least from an American standpoint, it is refreshing and almost feels like taboo. Her comments on society and its conflicts are always in passing (even when they are at the center) – and she doesn’t take a side unless the story merits it – so that the conversation and characters are always front and center. Nothing feels forced; it is all natural.

I picked up this book as it was described as a book of Jewish stories. Again though, like when it comes to society and conflict (which I’m not well versed in), religion here is only ancillary – only serving as part of the story – not the focus. This isn’t like Nathan Englander where religion is a character. Still it is fun to read about things that you are in the know about.

My only complaint was that the places throughout the stories are so often mentioned that it, on occasion, became hard to remember which story was which. It was an issue easily remedied by reading each story in one sitting.

There were only about 4 stories that didn’t resonate with me as much as others but topics covered were circumcision, friends last summer together before joining the Israeli army, a woman who is still finding her identity in her last year of the army, a guy who introduces his girlfriend to his father who he has always been estranged from and the titular story which features sisters, one of which whose husband has cheated on her.

A great collection.

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