Book Review: Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer

img_1027The “about the book” blurb I read on this book is why I picked it up. “Here I am” references the story of God and Abraham – and the book revolves around Jacob and Julia, a married couple dealing with the pressures of family, marriage, religion, and a natural disaster.

Here is the problem, I feel like I am supposed to be getting more out of this book than I am.  I think there is probably a lot of subliminal messaging going through this book, which is fine, but I’m not catching on to it fast enough.  I bought this book at the end of December, it is now the end of January, and I am not even close to completing it (you’ll just have to trust me when I say this is weird for me not to finish a book within a couple of days). I am more than half way, but for some reason, this book hasn’t captured my attention the way I had anticipated it would.  And I don’t even have a good reason as to why.

The characters are well written, the three sons Sam, Max, and Benjy are actually really amusing characters.  So far the interaction between Jacob and Julia with their children has been my favourite parts of the book.  I think it’s just that I don’t really know what the plot of the story is.  I am trying to connect the title with what is happening, and Sam in one of his chapters does a really good job of explaining “here I am.” Unfortunately, something for me is just lacking.  It’s frustrating because I honestly can’t put my finger on what it is.

The one thing that is really compelling to me, and I’m hoping it will be solved in some capacity by the end of the book is the idea of Jacob and Julia being so invested in a religious ceremony but not invested in the religion itself.  I don’t think they’d consider themselves practicing Jews, but Sam’s bat mitzvah seems to be the catalyst to a lot of the conflict in this story.

Anyhow, I will continue to work my way through this book, I’m determined to finish it – hopefully my initial impressions will change.

Have you read this? What am I missing?

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