“Choosing” is an excellent novel, poignantly and seamlessly combining fiction and nonfiction into one. The book is about two journalists — Kenneth and Maggie. Kenneth is a Harvard graduate who married young. While he is “half-Jewish,” his wife is Catholic, and she detests his Jewish blood and his lack of sufficient livelihood. After the birth of their daughter, she determines labor is too hard and she does not want any more children. Of course, she also claims that because she is Catholic she cannot take birth control. Therefore, they live a celibate life. (They can’t divorce because she is Catholic.)
Maggie is a free spirit, afraid of commitment — afraid of her true self. She’s a “girl” reporter, writing in Boston. She aches to cover real news but can’t get a break.
Eventually, Kenneth separates from his wife and travels. He finds himself in Israel for the Eichmann trial, where he realizes how important his Jewish side is — that he was Jewish enough to be gassed. He returns to the states to find a way to legally divorce.
Maggie’s life isn’t working out for her; she is frustrated and alone.
While on vacation in Greece, Kenneth and Maggie meet. There’s an instant connection. Kenneth invites Maggie to join him in Jerusalem to cover the pending Six-Day War.
In the backdrop of the war drama — fighting, politics and faith — Maggie and Kenneth discover what each means to the other … and who they really are. Hosted by a Jerusalem Post reporter, Maggie and Kenneth learn what it is to be Israeli, to be Jewish.
“Choosing” is a great depiction of what it means to get in touch with your true self.