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Review: A Remarkable Kindness

December 8, 2015

A Remarkable Kindness

Four very different women find themselves in a small village in Israel.  They all feel like they’re missing something in their lives even if they’re not sure what.  Aviva recruits the others to join her in a burial circle and it’s there they find friendship, love, and acceptance as they face the struggles in their lives.

A Remarkable Kindness by Diana Bletter is kind of hard to describe.  It’s the story of four women who forge a friendship in the least likely of places – performing a ritual for the recently deceased.  That may sound rather morbid, but it’s not really.  It may be a bit melancholy but it’s also thoughtful and life affirming.  I found myself marking passages like this as I read it:

And right then it seemed less like a commemoration of death and more like an homage to life.

Performing these rituals brought these women – a maternity nurse, a divorced woman looking for a new start, a retired intelligence worker who recently lost her husband, and a volunteer – closer together and made them value life and each other even more.

And when I touch a dead woman, and then put my hand on my own warm skin, it reminds me to jump feet first into life every morning, no matter what.

The story alternates between the points of view of all four women but it was very easy to follow.  I thought A Remarkable Kindness was beautifully written and found myself savoring the book as I read it.  I loved the story of the women and found the burial circle fascinating.

I read this book with my book club and everyone enjoyed the book.  The copy of the book we have has great discussion questions and an essay by the author in the back of the book.  We had a great discussion about the women and what brought them to Israel and the value of female friendships.  We also discussed the rituals of the burial circle because we all found it to be so compassionate.  Even though it’s sad in parts, we all thought A Remarkable Kindness was well worth reading.

Review copy provided by Harper Collins and Book Club Girl Book Club.   I am an Indiebound Affiliate.


20 Comments leave one →
  1. December 8, 2015 5:55 am

    This sounds really good, and I love that cover, so nice and sunny!

  2. Beth F permalink
    December 8, 2015 6:41 am

    What a different kind of book (and I mean that in a good way). It’s not a book I would have picked up, but your review made me curious.

  3. December 8, 2015 7:33 am

    I loved this book!

  4. Patty permalink
    December 8, 2015 7:43 am

    It sounds lovely and almost peaceful.

  5. December 8, 2015 7:51 am

    Sounds like a perfect book group selection.

  6. December 8, 2015 7:54 am

    Glad your group enjoyed it and had a good discussion!

  7. Diane permalink
    December 8, 2015 8:33 am

    Sounds like a terrific read – Kathy. Glad your group enjoyed it.

  8. December 8, 2015 10:09 am

    This one is definitely intriguing.

  9. December 8, 2015 11:27 am

    I can see how this one would be good to discuss. That cover. Love.

  10. Literary Feline permalink
    December 8, 2015 1:25 pm

    This is one I am eager to read. I have a copy, I just need to get to it! I am glad to hear your book group enjoyed it overall.

  11. December 8, 2015 3:26 pm

    This sounds like a wonderful book, Kathy. (Kindness really is important.)

  12. December 8, 2015 3:42 pm

    ooohh I’m going to suggest this one to my book club! we are having a death over dinner night in February and this book would be an awesome introduction!

  13. December 8, 2015 3:54 pm

    It does sound interesting

  14. December 8, 2015 10:23 pm

    It sounds like a book that would make the reader find peace within his/herself.

  15. December 9, 2015 7:40 am

    This sounds like a great book!

  16. December 9, 2015 9:07 am

    This sounds really good! The quotes you mentioned are great.

  17. dianabletter permalink
    December 9, 2015 12:23 pm

    Hello, it’s Diana Bletter, the author of A Remarkable Kindness. It gives me great pleasure to read this thoughtful review and know that my words touched readers. I also am excited by everyone’s comments. If you are planning to read it for a book club, I’d be honored to join in via Skype. You can reach me via my website or dianabletter at For so many days, I worked in my office, writing and rewriting, getting so many rejection slips that I wanted to quit. But my husband always told me, “If you give up, you’ll never forgive yourself.” This review and comments remind me that it was all worth it!

  18. December 13, 2015 3:38 am

    Wow, it does sound interesting – and perfect for book clubs!

  19. bookingmama permalink
    December 17, 2015 7:24 am

    It does sound like a good discussion book despite being sad.

  20. December 20, 2015 11:46 pm

    This looks really good! I don’t think I’ve read a book that takes place in modern Israel.

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