Review of Crooked Lines: A Single Mom’s Jewish Journey, by Jenna Zark
The publisher of my book, Koehler Books, is home to many talented authors, and as time permits, I have read a few of their works. As is often the case, reading a book as a favor to a fellow author often results in a quality reading experience I’m happy to share and promote. This is one of those.
In the hands of award-winning writer and playwright Jenna Zark, Crooked Lines: A Single Mom’s Jewish Journey was the kind of memoir I love best: beautifully written, warm and engaging, thought-provoking, and enlightening. In spite of being adapted from a collection of highly acclaimed columns for TC Jewfolk, the chapters flowed easily and smoothly as a single narrative yet could just as easily be picked up and read as individual pieces.
As a Christian reader, I was fascinated to learn so much about the beliefs and traditions of the author’s Jewish family, made even more poignant because she was going through her own exploration of her family’s Jewish roots and examining them for substance and meaning. I especially appreciated the thoughtful inclusion of a glossary of terms.
In sharing stories of suddenly finding herself a single mother and navigating the rough crooked road found herself traveling, she hit on universal themes of love, life-changing loss, fear of change, and courage to face those changes that happen, in one way or another, to us all.
This book will not only open your mind and expand your heart, but whenever you are traveling your own crook road, it will help you remember that you’re not alone and that there are always lessons to be learned and treasures to be found.
Jenna Zark is an award-winning author and playwright. Her columns for TC Jewfolk were the basis for Crooked Lines and frequently went viral at sites around the country. Zark is also the author of two middle-grade books, The Beat on Ruby’s Street and Fool’s Errand, released by Dragon Moon Press. Both books achieved top-50 ranking in Amazon’s Children and Historical Fiction category several times. The Beat on Ruby’s Street won first prize from Wishing Shelf awards in the UK and was a finalist for the Minnesota Author’s Project. Zark was also a staff writer at Scholastic magazine. Her play A Body of Water was published by Dramatists Play Service, produced at Circle Repertory Company in New York and chosen by the National Foundation for Jewish Culture as a play that “breaks new ground.” Her website is JennaZark dot com. You can learn more about her book HERE.