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Brenda Barrie


by Debby Davis, November 8, 2011

Following its Oct. 27 book launch at McNally Robinson, Brenda Barrie’s second novel, The Rabbi’s Husband, hit #1 on the McNally Robinson's Best Seller list, and has stayed there the last two weeks.

Barrie’s first novel, The Binding, was also launched in Winnipeg in 2005, and achieved #3 on the best seller list. The Binding deals with the lives of three men, all sons of Holocaust survivors.

“This is a thrill,” Barrie said in an interview following the launch. “I know some people expected another book dealing with the Holocaust in some way, but The Rabbi’s Husband is about a marriage. 

In the novel, Rabbi Tovah Feldner wakes up one morning to find that her husband, Dan Goldin, her househusband has deserted her and her two children. Although Temple Isaiah is one of the biggest Reform Temples in the Midwest, it is, in fact not the correct situation for this particular Rabbi. Tovah holds what others may consider a plum job, that is in fact all wrong for her. A perfectionist who does not like to admit failure, she spends an inordinate amount of time and energy trying to make it right .  He husband, on the other hand, has deep secrets of his own that haunt him to the point of his making the painful decision to leave his family. In the final analysis it is the lack of communication between these two partners that wreck havoc on their marriage.

 The story concentrates on the lies we all live and how to deal with what can be the devastating results. Love, compassion, understanding and the ability to forgive are the central themes in this book as in real life.

“But the book is about much more than a simple desertion. It’s about a marriage in trouble, and the efforts needed to hopefully save it,” said Barrie 

McNallly Robinson was alive with excitement when Barrie  launched the book, with many friends, family and fans having gathered for the launch of Brenda Barrie’s new novel

As  Barrie read excerpts from the book and talked about it’s inception, it was obvious that she truly loves her characters and cares deeply about them.

A book signing and reception catered by her daughter Aviva ended the evening. It was testimony to Brenda Barrie that more chairs had to be supplied and that more books needed to be made available for signing. All in all a wonderful celebration of Brenda’s enormous talent

The Rabbi’s Husband and The Binding are available at McNally-Robinson, or on Amazon.

Brenda Barrie,  was born and raised in Winnipeg, the daughter of the late Marion and Max Gallis.   Her daughters, Renata Bursten and Aviva Cohen both live in Winnipeg. Aviva and her husband Yossi Cohen are parents of Aliza, Elli, Arie, Shulie, Yaakov and Ezra. Renata is mother of Simon, Maks and Ben Doerksen.

Seven of Barrie’s nine grandchildren were at the book launch. Simon Doerksen is working in Vancouver, and Aliza Cohen is in her first year at Bar Ilan University in Israel.

The Rabbi’s Husband is dedicated to all of Barrie’s grandchildren. Barrie lives in now living in Laguna Woods in Southern California, and is married to Sid Bursten, also from Winnipeg. Barrie is a frequent visitor to the city.Debbie Davis is an Educational Assistant at Gray Academy  and is currently working with"

Debby Davis is an Educational Assistant at Gray Academy and is currently working with the 4th Annual Mameloshen Festival Sponsorship Committee 

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