The Ladies Auxiliary by Tova Mirvis
This is a fascinating novel that I've read three times which means I must either really like it a lot or else I have a very bad memory. I'd like to think it's for the first reason! This gripping story takes us to the tightly knit and insular Orthodox Jewish community of Memphis, Tennessee. Batsheva Jacobs, a recent widow, has decided to move to this area where her late husband grew up, to raise her five year-old daughter. She is quite different from any of the members of her new community and practices her own, somewhat relaxed, version of Orthodox Judaism much to the horror of her new neighbors. While these women find everything about her appalling, their teenage daughters feel quite differently. With the new sense of freedom that she introduces to them and a break from "the rules", they no longer want to live as they've been previously taught. What follows has everyone looking at old and new beliefs in a different way while looking at themselves a little bit harder as well.