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American Stranger - A Novel - cover

American Stranger - A Novel

David Plante

Publisher: Delphinium Books

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Summary

A daughter of Jewish refugees searches for love and a spiritual home in this novel by the National Book Award–nominated author of Difficult Women.   Brought up in a secular household on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Nancy Green knows suspiciously little about her parents’ past. She knows they escaped Germany, avoiding the fate of so many of their fellow Jews during World War II, but the few family heirlooms they brought to the United States are reminders of a lost life that, for Nancy, remains shrouded in mystery. She seeks connection and a sense of belonging, a relationship in which she can find some sort of religious fulfillment.   Unfortunately, Nancy’s first encounter is with a Hasidic man who, dissatisfied with Judaism, has taken vows to become a monk. Then, while studying English literature in Boston, she meets a Catholic boy who captures her interest, but he’s desperate to escape his overbearing mother and the clutches of the Church.   After a devastating breakup, Nancy finally settles down with a husband whose background and beliefs seem at least similar to her own. Perhaps now she’ll stop yearning for something more, and trade volatility and heartbreak for a sensible, practical life. But forcing a fit—into a society, a sect, a family, or even a marriage—isn’t easy for anyone, and Nancy still has a long way to travel before she finds her true home.   From an acclaimed author of both fiction and memoirs, including National Book Award finalist The Family, American Stranger is a wise and insightful story about the search for identity, and how our real lives are far more complex than our labels.   “Plante . . . is always worth reading.” —The Washington Post

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