Invisible City

Invisible City

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
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"Just months after Rebekah Roberts was born, her mother, an Hasidic Jew from Brooklyn, abandoned her Christian boyfriend and newborn baby to return to her religion. Neither Rebekah nor her father have heard from her since. Now a recent college graduate, Rebekah has moved to New York City to follow her dream of becoming a big-city reporter. But she's also drawn to the idea of being closer to her mother, who might still be living in the Hasidic community in Brooklyn. Then Rebekah is called to cover the story of a murdered Hasidic woman. Rebekah's shocked to learn that, because of the NYPD's habit of kowtowing to the powerful ultra-Orthodox community, not only will the woman be buried without an autopsy, her killer may get away with murder. Rebekah can't let the story end there. But getting to the truth won't be easy--even as she immerses herself in the cloistered world where her mother grew up, it's clear that she's not welcome, and everyone she meets has a secret to keep from an outsider. In her riveting debut, journalist Julia Dahl introduces a compelling new character in search of the truth about a murder and an understanding of her own heritage"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Minotaur Books, 2014
New York : Minotaur Books, 2014
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781466841918
9781250043399
1250043395
Branch Call Number: M DAHL 2014
Characteristics: 298 pages ; 25 cm

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faigie1836 Jun 11, 2017

#chassidbashing

a
ApollosRaven
Aug 19, 2016

This mystery kept me turning the pages! Not just for the interesting plot, but for the really excellent depiction of a NYC news "stringer" as she struggles to enter the hazardous world of print journalism. Her toe-hold turns out to be that her lost mother - who left her with her father as a baby - was raised in the Hasidic community. I thought the book provided an interesting look at a community I knew little about. Want to read more by this author.

r
RollingHills
Feb 27, 2016

I started to read this book, but I really felt after just getting started with it that the author threw in the "f" word way too often. After all, being a journalist she should have a better and more varied vocabulary. It just aggravated me so that I am taking the book back to the library. Too bad as the opinion from others is that it is a good story. I guess I am in the minority ? as I have very few friends that even occasionally use that word!!
It really makes me think of a teenager trying to impress others or not having many other words they can call upon. CAF

r
Roundcat
Sep 29, 2015

This is a great first book of a series, laying out the main character, Rebekah Roberts, and her inner world and personal history as well as those around her that influence her. This story takes place in January in New York. The author did a great job of bringing us into the cold and showing us Rebekah's work life and her exploration of the Hasidic community. Rebekah's development from a promising "stringer" to the reporter she aspires to be is very well done. I too find the over use of the "f" word put me off, although it's probably realistic. Julia Dahl is definitely on my list of author's whose next book I'll be waiting for.

j
jerksister1
Aug 26, 2015

Very interesting first novel. Kept my interest throughout. Looking forward to reading her next book.

d
DorisWaggoner
Aug 23, 2015

A good first novel about two interesting premises--a young woman whose mother left her and her father when she was an infant, and her "professional" work as a journalist on her first murder case. To her surprise, the victim is a member of the Hasidic Jewish community her mother was born into, about which she knows nothing. Her own anxiety almost keeps her from doing her job. Both Rebekah and her loyal boyfriend Tony end up as sympathetic characters, as does her college friend Iris. Since this is the first in a series, I hope the sidekicks reappear.

Wolfespearl Apr 21, 2015

A good first. Rebekah Roberts catches her first murder as a reporter. She wants more than just to report on this crime; she wants to solve it. As the Hasidic community tries to hide it and ignore it, Rebekah works to find the truth as to who murdered Rivka Mendelssohn.

l
lpreston214
Mar 18, 2015

Tabloid stringer Rebekah is sent to cover the scene where a woman't body has been found. When she discovers the victim was a member of the ultra-orthodox Jewish community her interest is piqued as her own absentee mother was also a member. Rebekah gets deeper into the story when she meets an orthodox cop who knew her mother and is feeding her info. Very well drawn characters and an interesting mystery with the added intrigue of a fringe community combine to make this a very enjoyable book. Probably one of my favorites of the year so far.

s
sunnye1988
Jan 30, 2015

This book is all you want to know about the Hasidic Jews and too afraid to ask. Their community is secret and clannish; very few outsiders know about this sect of Jews. Thanks to author Julia Kahl we now know. There is a house that is a refuge from the strict life of the Hasidic Jews (many secular Jews are critical of the Ultra Orthodox - I'm just saying - I don't harbor ill feelings to the Hasisic community.) written in an article in the New York Times. Author Julia Dahl did her homework and done a great job. I highly recommend it.

s
savtadina
Dec 22, 2014

The book's main character, Rebekah, is a journalist working for the New York Tribune, a populist newspaper. Rebekah's mother was a member of an ultra-Orthodox Hasidic (Jewish) sect in Brooklyn. The fled, had Rebekah (the father was not Jewish), and when Rebekah was six months old, the mother left them and returned to her roots (supposedly). Rebekah has been troubled by this all her life. She grew up in Florida but has come to NY for work, and possibly to learn more about her roots. Rebekah also has a severe anxiety problem.

The author obviously did a lot of research and was writing about something she knows. She is a journalist specializing in crime and criminal justice and worked for the NY Post and also more professional news sources. She also had a Christian father and a Jewish mother.

The story is set mostly in a Hasidic community in Brooklyn. The author does a good job of developing the main and side plots and of helping us to see the depth of several of the characters.

Since this is the first of the "Rebekah Roberts" novels with the second one due out this spring, she seems to spend a good amount of time developing the main character, Rebekah. She is not very sympathetic at first but as I learned more about her, she began to grow on me.

The one negative was the number of time she especially used the "f" word. I didn't find that it added to the story, especially the number of times it was used.

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