Davita’s Harp

In which we enjoy old friendship.


I find I always reread books when I’m a bit under the weather, which may explain why I suddenly got the urge to reread Davita’s Harp. It’s my least favourite of Chaim Potok’s novels (excepting I am the Clay, which for some reason I can’t get through at all), but as he’s one of my all-time favourite authors, that really isn’t saying much. As with the majority of Potok’s work, the main theme of the book is the finding a balance in life between religion and your other convictions, but for once we get the story from a female point of view.


Nicolette’s right, I haven’t been very good at keeping this up to date lately. Lots of other stuff going on… But she is also wrong, I haven’t had time to read that much, having visitors (ahem) sort of slows me down a bit. However, I finished Potok’s The Book of Lights, which is a facinating story – and such lovely language. It deals with a son’s feeling of guilt for «the sins of the father», and, as always with Potok, the difficulty of finding one’s place in the world.

I also read most of Lord Peter, which is the collected short-stories about LPW – I had read some of them earlier, so I read all the «new» ones and reread some of the others. I’ll take my hat off to DLS any day, her skill at evoking real live characters is more than admirable, in fact, I can think of few authors who outdo her, and none within the limits of «genre writing».

At the moment I’m rereading the Hornblower series – I’m about half-way through Lieutenant Hornblower right now, and it caused some confusion this morning when I excused my lateness with «I was in the middle of a battle at sea and got a bit distracted».

The Promise

Finished The Promise. Luckily the library had The Gift of Asher Lev. I might have been a bit peevish today if they didn’t. They also have a new computer system which gives them a pop-up box with a birthday cake in it that tells them that the patron has his/her birthday that day. So I had lots of happy wishes for the day (this was yesterday…) which was nice.

My Name is Asher Lev and The Chosen

I did it. I’ve been putting off writing about Chaim Potok for the site, as I just knew I’d end up rereading all the books if I tried. Well, I’ve started. Finished My Name is Asher Lev before the weekend, got majorly frustrated when I realised I don’t have The Gift of Asher Lev (will have to drop by library today), then read The Chosen over the weekend and have now started on The Promise.

Was quite poignant, actually, reading about the conflict between zionists and ultra-orthodox anti-zionists in the States just after WW2 and the discussions and verbal war prior to the establishment of Israel in the UN in The Chosen, what with what’s going on there now. I’m not going to say what I think about that whole mess, though, almost impossible not to offend people and this is not a political column.

Anyway, Potok is heartily recommended.