Sunday, July 29, 2012

Intentions by Deborah Heiligman

Rachel's parents are fighting more and more.  Her best friend Alexis is acting like a different person, and the person she admires most, her temple's rabbi, has just let her down in a monumental way.  Rachel struggles to make sense of it all, but before she can make it through she has a long way to fall.

I didn't love it.  There wasn't anything in particular that turned me off.  It was a good story.  The characters were fine.  It moved along.  It was just fine all around I guess.  Nothing jumped out at me or pulled me in, but then nothing was a turn off.

Intentions explored how it can be dangerous and destructive to view other people as perfect.  It looked at what happens when someone you looked up to lets you down.  This was happening in two different ways, which Rachel doesn't realize at first.  First is the realization that the rabbi, who Rachel has always greatly admired, cheats on his wife.  Rachel is horrified and doesn't know who to talk to about this.  She doesn't feel like she can tell her parents, and her Alexis, her one close friend, is acting so strangely.  We realize that just as the rabbi let Rachel down, Rachel unknowingly let Alexis down.  Alexis always saw Rachel as perfect, but Rachel wasn't there for her when Alexis' parents were going through a divorce.  Alexis gets back at Rachel is a series of really awful ways, and Rachel tags along after her like a puppy for far too long, but I understand what was being done.

Rachel's life falls apart, and she blames it all on the rabbi, which is of course not the root of the problem.  Rachel is in love with Jake, but ends up cheating on him with someone else, despite her disgust at the rabbi's cheating.  She blames it all on the rabbi and what he's done to her, but she eventually realizes she has no one to blame for the way she acts but herself.

I appreciated that not everything got fixed for Rachel.  She and Alexis didn't have a big love-fest at the end when all is forgiven (although everything does work out with Jake and her parents).

Intentions comes out August 14, 2012.

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