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Holiday Miracles: A Novella about an Intermarried Family

Review of Holiday Miracles: A Christmas/Hanukkah Story by Ellyn Bache (Banks Channel Books, $14.95, 133 pages).

Perfect as a holiday gift for a busy, intermarried woman with little time to read, this very short novella takes the reader inside the mind of Claire, an intermarried Jewish mother as she rushes off to her synagogue to help with a Hanukkah celebration. Meanwhile, her husband Paul, a lapsed Catholic, decorates a Christmas tree in their home with the help of their daughter Sarah.

Claire recalls how she and her husband made the decision to raise their children Jewish, and how they had re-negotiated after their children were born. Then she winces with recognition of the hurt that decision had caused her mother-in-law Teresa, with whom Claire has nonetheless created a warm bond.

When her son Louis becomes seriously ill, at one point Claire wonders if she is being punished for having fallen in love with a man who wasn't Jewish and for celebrating Christmas with him. But as she reflects on it, she feel certain that her love for Paul and his family is good, and that God wouldn't disapprove of it.

Although the book has only 133 small pages and is a light read, Ellyn Bache, the author, offers a solid understanding of interfaith marriages, based on her own thirty-two years of intermarried experience.

Ellen Bache has made her novella available for download on her website, and has provided IFF with a direct link to the .pdf file. We are delighted to share this with you--feel free to comment here to let us know how you liked the story. 

Derived from the Greek word for "assembly," a Jewish house of prayer. Synagogue refers to both the room where prayer services are held and the building where it occurs. In Yiddish, "shul." Reform synagogues are often called "temple." Hanukkah (known by many spellings) is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd Century BCE. It is marked by the lighting of a menorah and the eating of fried foods.
Ronnie Friedland

Ronnie Friedland was the founding Web Magazine Editor of InterfaithFamily.

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