Set in 1950s New York, The Chosen is a tale about two Jewish boys and the friendship that develops between them. While both Jews, the backgrounds they come out of are drastically different. Danny Saunders is a Hassidic Jew of the most pious sect, and Reuven Malter is the son of a Zionist father. As the story unwinds it immerses the reader in the lives of these boys, and the troubles they navigate.
This book was one of the few I have read this year that injected me completely into its world. And that is somewhat surprising considering there is really not any action to speak of but Potok writes with such passion and energy that every page seems to come to life. While he does write with beautifully descriptive language the book has an incredibly realistic sense, especially in Danny and Reuven’s relationship. The book also provides intriguing and perhaps different views to historical events such as World War Two, the holocaust, and the creation of the state of Israel. And while the narrative is set in the past the truths about family, friendship, and life are just a relevant today as ever.
So if you have not yet read Chaim Potok’s The Chosen I highly recommend it, regardless of your age or religion you are almost certain to have a good time.