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Casey Cohen, a Middle Eastern Jew, is a sixteen-year-old in New Orleans in the 1970s when she starts hanging out with the wrong crowd. Then she gets in trouble and her parents turn her whole world upside down by deciding to return to their roots, the Orthodox Syrian Jewish community in Brooklyn.
In this new and foreign world, families gather weekly for Shabbat dinner; parties are extravagant events at the Museum of Natural History; and the Marriage Box is a real place, a pool deck designated for teenage girls to put themselves on display for potential husbands. Casey is at first shocked by this unfamiliar culture, but after she meets Michael, she's enticed by it. Looking for love and a place to belong, she marries him at eighteen, believing she can adjust to Syrian ways. But she begins to question her decision when she discovers that Michael doesn't want her to go to college; he wants her to have a baby instead.
Can Casey integrate these two opposing worlds, or will she have to leave one behind in order to find her way?
“ This read-alike for Meg Wolitzer's The Wife and Melissa Bank's A Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing sets the weight of familial, romantic, and culturual expectations against the terrifying freedom of the unknown. ”
“ The Marriage Box is a brilliant coming of age story that moves swiftly between the worlds of New Orleans and the Syrian Jewish community in NY. Our heroine, Casey, is flawed, kind and so vivid. We fall in love with her as she grapples to balance her need for independence with the comforts and constraints of tradition. I can't remember when I last enjoyed a story so much: I laughed, I cried, I learnt, and couldn't wait to turn the page to find out what Casey was going to do next. The Marriage Box is an absolute delight! ”
— Ariana Neumann, New York Times best-selling author of When Time Stopped and National Jewish Book Award and Dayton Literary Peace Prize Winner
“ In this crisp coming-of-age novel, Corie Adjmi courageously takes on a subject close to her heart, and one that has not been told through the female lens: the world of the Jewish Syrian girl. ”
— Ester Amini, Jewish Book Council
“ This book was real and authentic, giving the reader a stunning storyline and a unique cast of characters. There is so much growth and change within this story and it is so well written... I would highly recommend this book to anyone. ”
— Reader's Favorite, 5 STARS
“ The Marriage Box is a wonderfully delightful page-turner that takes a deep dive into the intricacies of the Syrian Jewish community in New York. With humor, insight, and grace, Adjmi examines the plight of a spit-fire teenager who struggles to find where she fits in the world. As Casey Cohen journeys from wild teen to 18-year-old married woman, she will win every last reader's heart with her witty commentary, down-to-earth attitude, and courageous spunk. An unquestionable joyride from start to finish. This book is a must-read! ”
— Jacqueline Friedland, USA Today best-selling author of He Gets That From Me
“ An exceptionally well written and entertaining read from beginning to end. ”
— Wisconsin Bookwatch Review
“ Corie Adjmi's captivating novel The Marriage Box develops Casey's conflicted emotions with finesse, contrasting the allure of 1980s music, fashion, and television with the strict rituals of Sephardic Orthodox Judaism... From the spicy scent of cumin to the gleam of gold bracelets and silver Shabbat candlesticks, The Marriage Box recreates a defiant young woman's vibrant and insular world. ”
— Foreword Reviews
“ Corie Adjmi's fabulous novel The Marriage Box is an unputdownable tale of Old World traditions-meets-New World desires. Adjmi doesn't hold back in this coming-of-age tale of a young womwan who loses herself early on, shaped by a destructive past. The writing is rich, immersive, and seamless. You will root for Casey as she forges her own way in a patriarchal world. A must-read. ”
— Lisa Barr, New York Times best-selling author of Woman on Fire, The Unbreakables, and Fugitive Colors
“ A nuanced look at one woman's conflicted desire to break free from a regimented life. ”
— Kirkus Reviews
“ Adjmi has written a fascinating story of culture and custom and the choices that go along with it. Compelling and compulsively readable; I found myself rooting for Casey Cohen as I flipped through the pages, finishing in one single sitting. A must-read. ”
— Rochelle Weinstein, USA Today best-selling author of This Is Not How It Ends, Somebody's Daughter, Where We Fall, The Mourning After, and What We Leave Behind
“ I couldn't put The Marriage Box down. Alternately funny and heart-wrenching, but always deftly observed, this is a fast-paced coming of age story that will stick with you. ”
— Jen Spyra, author of Big TIme and former staff writer for CBS's The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
“ This was a wonderful story to follow about the Syrian Jewish community and culture. I loved the humor and care that the author took when writing this. This was a fantastic coming of age story that I could not turn pages fast enough but I didn't want it to end. ”
— Crossroad Review
“ Original, entertaining, thought-provoking, and showing author Corie Adjmi's impressive and genuine flair for the kind of narrative driven and descriptive storytelling style that fully engages the reader's attention from first page to last... A compelling read for those interested in Jewish culture, family life, and women's issues. ”
— Midwest Book Review