In the book of Genesis, when God calls out, “Abraham!” to order him to sacrifice his son Isaac, Abraham responds, “Here I am.” Later, when Isaac calls out, “My father!” to ask him why there is no animal to slaughter, Abraham responds, “Here I am.”
How do we fulfill our conflicting duties as father, husband, and son; wife and mother; child and adult? Jew and American? How can we claim our own identities when our lives are linked so closely to others’? These are the questions at the heart of Jonathan Safran Foer’s first novel in eleven years–a work of extraordinary scope and heartbreaking intimacy.
Unfolding over four tumultuous weeks in present-day Washington D.C., Here I Am is the story of a fracturing family in a moment of crisis. As Jacob and Julia and their three sons are forced to confront the distances between the lives they think they want and the lives they are living, a catastrophic earthquake sets in motion a spiraling conflict in the Middle East. At stake is the very meaning of home–and the fundamental question of how much life one can bear.
Showcasing the same high-energy inventiveness, hilarious irreverence, and emotional urgency that readers and critics loved in his earlier work, Here I Am is Foer’s most searching, hard-hitting, and grandly entertaining novel yet. It not only confirms Foer’s stature as a dazzling literary talent but reveals a mature novelist who has fully come into his own as one of the most important writers of his generation.
Here I Am is the first novel that I have read by Jonathan Safran Foer. Jos writing style is completely new to me so, I can’t compare this to his other works. But based on what I have read, this book is worth reading. It shows a dysfunctional Jewish-American family that many can relate to…plus, the characters come off as realistic. I may not understand the full content of what the writer wanted to show me…but I got the gist of it. The plot surrounds a family. Parents with marital problems, frustrated son, and a religious upbringing. The oldest son is the one character that really pulled me into the book. His journey is full of bumps. More bumpier than his parents. He sees, hears, and experiences that he may or may not want to experience. He’s growing up and his view on things are sad, rebellious, and frustrating. I can sympathize with him at times. The novel, Here I Am, is definitely an emotional rollercoaster ride that was believable even if it was hard to follow at times. Definitely different than what I normally read. Overall, it was good.