Monday, April 14, 2014
Pieces Of Someday
By Jan Vallone
Published by Gemelli Press, November 2013
How does a Catholic lawyer of Italian-American descent end up teaching in a small Yeshiva?
Jan Vallone's father was a highly ambitious lawyer who wanted her to become a professional, which to his mind was either a doctor or a lawyer. He certainly did not want her to be a teacher like her mother! Pushed and prodded, she ended up eventually becoming a lawyer, but then she was the wrong sort of lawyer for her father's taste.
When her adopted daughter Cristin struggled to make progress at school, Jan investigated becoming a teacher, but was deemed not qualified enough to undertake teacher training; nevertheless, by a series of chances, she ended up becoming a substitute teacher at a Jewish Yeshiva and a whole new life began for her.
As she poured out everything she knew and loved about writing, she learnt an enormous amount about Judaism and life from her students as well as gaining insight into her own Catholic faith, her life and marriage. She learnt, as well, just what it means to be a true writer and a true teacher, no matter how difficult things might become - and they became very difficult indeed.
This was a very pleasant read indeed; part autobiographical and part travelogue about her family's roots in Italy. I particularly loved the literary, Christian and Jewish quotations scattered in the text to mark the themes of different parts, as well as the "discovering your vocation workshop" at the end.
The author has an excellent website at http://www.janvallone.com