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The novel, set in contemporary Melbourne, tells the tale of a charismatic New York rabbi who arrives with his guitar and a beautiful voice. He teaches sweet, seductive Torah to the wild and vulnerable youth of Melbourne, brought up on an austere diet of Holocaust survival and Zionism. In introducing the mysteries of Kabalah, among other questionable activities, he causes havoc and even death.Freddie Rose, a 30-something wealthy woman, is both beguiled and repelled by the rabbi, and when she finds the diaries of an old friend who was the rabbi's assistant, she begins a path of discovery.The narrative explores the cult of personality, the causes and effects of spiritual hunger and tries to identify the fine line between good and evil, sacred and profane. Must Freddie betray the rabbi who has helped her emerge from her own darkness, or does all the palpable good he has done outweigh his sins? Ultimately she unravels these conundrums and finds a solution which, in the most unlikely of circumstances, also allows her to find love.

The Torn Messiah

  • Yvonne Fein
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