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A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life    by Dana Reinhardt order for
Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life
by Dana Reinhardt
Order:  USA  Can
Wendy Lamb Books, 2006 (2006)
Hardcover, CD

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* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Being adopted is not a problem for sixteen-year-old Simone. She has parents who love her and a younger brother who adores her. Someday she may want to know about her adoption. Someday there may be questions she'll want answered about her biological mother. Maybe she'll even want to meet her, but right now in her junior year at high school, Simone is happy with her life and family and wants nothing more than for things to remain the same.

When Simone's birth mother Rivka asks to see her, she resists. Her parents try to appear as if they aren't pushing the meeting, but give Simone a phone number where Rivka can be reached and wait. Without being told why, Simone begins to realize that sometimes you don't have the option of putting things off.

Simone's meeting with her young birth mother triggers questions about the importance of faith, family and tradition. While her adopted family and her friends remain steadfast, Simone finds room to extend her family to include Rivka, whose Judaism introduces Simone to another culture and whose roots extend back to Russia and the Orthodox Hasidic Jewish family from which Rivka is estranged.

Simone is honest, full of questions about life and love, funny, and vulnerable. Her first person account is balanced but not overwhelmed by her daily life in prep school. A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life is a touchingly intimate story with characters readers will want to meet again. Though Reinhardt doesn't provide a happily-ever-after ending, she does give a satisfying one to a well-told story.

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