February 16, 2005
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My Old Man

by Amy Sohn

A fine, funny little book about a young rabbinical student who, visiting a hospital, discovers that she's not cut out to be a rabbi.

As I went down into the lobby and out into the spring sun, I wondered two things: what a rabbinical school dropout could do possibly next, and how I was going to tell my parents.

That, plus a nice sense of place (the place being the modern Brooklyn of supermoms and dotcom hipsters), pretty much sums up the book. Much later, when Rachel Block and Hank Powell, a Famous Old Writer she's trying to sleep with are playing tennis with Richard, Rachel's dad and his very young lover, things get predictably weird:

"Are you all right?" But there was a glint in his eye like he cared more about the point than his own daughter's welfare.

"She's fine!" Powell said. "Let's keep going."

"You're amazing, Richard," Liz said, skipping toward him and planting a soul kiss on his mouth.

"Could you cut it out?" I said.

"You're just bitter we're winning," Liz said.

"I'm just bitter you're fucking my father!" I said. One of the middle-aged guys on the next court looked over with a raised eyebrow.

"This could be a reality show," Powell said.

The first and the final chapters are exceptionally strong.