The Laws of Return


Colin Stone, third-generation American and secular Jew, is the narrator of Cameron Stracher's debut novel, The Laws of Return. Colin lives in a world cast loose from spiritual moorings, a world where "kids get what they want...the Hanukkah man sees to that." Growing up in the wealthy suburbs of New York, Colin dreams of flying in the Israeli Air Force, his "sonic boom heralding a new age"; he attends Hebrew school, and is bar-mitzvahed, but is never really touched by his religion. Embarking on a personal journey toward faith and self-discovery, he finds himself, instead, bleaching into the blond hills of western Massachusetts. Later his search takes him to the hallowed halls of Harvard Law School, and finally on an odyssey to the Arctic Circle. But what Colin seeks turns out to be closer to home. He falls in love with a woman who celebrates the irrational and, in a final confrontation with an unrepentant bigot, he discovers a truth that the laws of science and society cannot explain. Stracher's debut puts a new twist on the story of the Wandering Jew. At its heart, The Laws of Return is a romantic and humorous exploration of the ambivalence many of us feel toward the role religion and spirituality play in our lives.

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