Invisible City is about a journalist who discovers her family history by delving into the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community where her mother grew up. But Rebekah Roberts doesn’t start out looking for her past. She is covering the news of a Hasidic woman’s murder, a tragedy that the private Brooklyn community would rather keep to themselves. Julia Dahl’s novel is supported by her knowledge of working in newspapers as well as her research of the Hasidim living in Brooklyn. Rebekah is straddling both worlds–on the one hand she wants to investigate this murder that is seemingly being swept under the rug, but in the process she is reminded of why her Jewish mother left her and her father, to return to the Orthodox way of life.
5 Reason to Read:
- Invisible City gives a small but compelling glimpse into the lives of the Hasidic women who care for their children, are devoutly religious, and have few opportunities.
- The details of working as a stringer as Rebekah Roberts does ring true–the waiting, the uncertainty, seeing your byline on a story you investigated but didn’t write–Dahl captures this well.
- Rebekah struggles with anxiety and depression while working on a story that could make or break her career–she is a character who is real and flawed.
- You’ll learn a lot from reading this book, whether about journalism or Judaism. It is clear this is a well-researched novel.
- This is one of those mysteries that barrels along with such a force you’ll have to hold on, but at the same time it is perfectly paced and carefully written with great precision.