Jacob's Folly Summary
A luminous novelfunny and moving in equal measurethat shines with the author's unique talents
Jacob's Folly is a rollicking, ingenious, saucy book that takes on desire, faith, love, actingand reincarnation.
The novel brims with sparkling, unexpected characters: Jacob, a Jewish peddler living in eighteenth-century France; Leslie and Deirdre Senzatimore, a settled American couple; Masha, an alluring young Ultra-Orthodox Jew, who is also gravely ill. In Rebecca Miller's self-assured second novel, these four individuals will find their fates intertwined when Jacob is reincarnated as a fly in contemporary Long Island.
Miller's quirky humor and acute, original intelligence animate a wonderfully memorable protagonist. Through the unique lens of Jacob's consciousness, she explores transformation in all its different guisespersonal, spiritual, literal. As she considers the hold of the past on the present, the power of private hopes and dreams, and the collision of fate and free will, Miller's worldwhich is our own, transfigured by her clear gaze and by her sharp, surprising witcomes to life. Leslie's desire to act as hero and rescuer; Jacob's disastrous marriage to the childlike Hodel and his obsession with MashaMiller sketches her characters' interior lives with compassion, subtlety, and an exceptionally light touch. Jacob's Folly is wildly inventive and ultimately moving; it will leave the reader, no less than its characters, transformed.