The Opposite of Normal by Judy Walters

judywaltersIt’s a beautiful day here in San Clemente today and I’m heading out to run a few errands soon but before I step away, I wanted to share another book with you.  You may remember last April I introduced you to a wonderful, talented new author, Judy Walters who had just released her debut novel, Child of Mine.  Well, Judy is back with another new release titled The Opposite of Normal and I invited her to tell us more here on my blog.  So here’s a quick chat with Judy —


In a few sentences, can you tell us what The Opposite of Normal is about?

The Opposite of Normal is the story of a Rabbi, Mark, and his two teenaged children, Aaron and Hannah, who move to a small suburb from Manhattan to try to start over after the death of their wife and mother.   Told from each main character’s own point of view, the book delves into their struggles: Mark attempting to hold onto his job at a failing synagogue while trying to be an effective single parent, Aaron’s senior year of high school, a devastating decision he makes, and the consequences of that decision affecting his future, and Hannah’s confusion over her heritage as a Chinese adoptee living in a Jewish American family.

When Rabbi Mark Friedlander moves his teenage children from Manhattan to a quiet town in Northwestern New Jersey after the death of their mother, he hopes for a fresh start, a place for him and his children to heal while he leads a vibrant synagogue that will embrace them. What he gets instead is just the opposite.
His daughter, Hannah, twelve, struggles with grief, loneliness, and what it means to be Jewish as a Chinese adoptee. She wants to fit in, but that’s difficult in their new mostly white and Christian town–so she decides to secretly convert.
His son, Aaron, a senior in high school, is applying to Ivy League schools and counting down to when he can leave the small town–until he discovers a shocking secret that threatens his entire future.
Lurking in the shadows is a pastor who says he just wants to support the kids in his congregation, but is that all he really wants?
The Opposite of Normal is about what it means to love and accept, what it means to do the right thing, and what it means to heal after loss.

Why did you want to write this book?

As the mother of two teenagers, I’ve been anxious to write in the teenage voice, which this book allowed me to do.  I also believe strongly in “write what you know.” As a Jewish person who struggles with her faith a lot, I wanted to examine that, too.

What are you working on now?

A novel with an autistic character – a close friend has a severely autistic son and as I’ve watched his body grow to adulthood (he’s 22), and his mind remain in the toddler stage, I’ve wanted to explore what this is like.

Five things on your desk

Um…my 2013 taxes (yuck)…notes for The Opposite of Normal, bills, a calculator, and my old glasses.(In case I lose the new glasses and need to look for them, yes, this has happened to me before!)

What are your favorite things in life?

My husband and children, chocolate, reading, writing, and baking

Best thing about being a writer?

Wonderful emails from readers telling me my books touched them

Worst thing?



Thank you, Judy, for sharing with us today!  Readers do check out this new book from Judy and if you read it, do share your thoughts with her.  We authors love to get feedback from our readers!  🙂

To celebrate this lovely February day, I’ve got a mystery prize for one of you!  For a chance to win a fun prize pack with books, goodies and so much more, talk to me.  Tell me how your week is going and what plans you’ve got for the next few days.  You know I love to hear from you all!  Contest will run until Friday night with winner announced on Saturday!

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