Imagine this: You’re a well-known and much admired mechaneches and high school principal for two decades; your husband is a much respected rosh yeshivah; your children have baruch Hashem all made fine shidduchim; and your youngest daughter is about to get engaged. You’ve had the usual ups and downs of life, but nothing earth-shattering. Things are going along quite nicely, thank you very much.
Until. The phone call comes.
Your son, who is married with three children, has been arrested. The crime? Driving while intoxicated…and seriously injuring one of his son’s rebbeim in a car accident.
The world caves in around you. Suddenly, dark secrets slip out of the closet. Your son is an alcoholic! You’re reeling from shock—and shame; after all, things like this happen to other people, not the Kletner family. How will you face the community after this shameful event? What will you do? How will you cope? Suddenly, the Kletner family is not quite so “picture perfect” anymore.
The fallout from this one catastrophic event is huge, its effects spreading to all family members like a toxic spill.
With her depth and understanding of human nature, renowned author Batya Ruddell takes you down the complicated and sometimes painful paths of her characters. Different family members react in different ways: Some siblings are angry and resentful toward their brother; Rebbetzin Kletner and her husband have vastly different ways of dealing with the crisis. And then there’s Bubby Takowski, Rebbetzin Kletner’s mother, whom you will just adore—an island of stability amidst the chaos.
Batya’s characters are relatable. Chances are that you’ll see yourself in one or two of them. The inner journeys they embark on while trying to make sense of their situation are authentic and honest.
This novel will make you ask yourself the questions: Who am I really? How would I stand up to a test of such proportions? And what is the true meaning of “picture perfect”?
In her usual style, Batya probes, challenges, and explores. Picture Perfect will make you think, redefine your value system, and invoke empathy that could make you just that more understanding, tolerant, and appreciative of…imperfection!
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