A captivating story of a Jewish family that flourishes and prospers over 500 years despite the forces of persecution and assimilation.
The novel follows the Cuheno family, dealers in precious stones, and their heirloom, a magnificent sixty-carat diamond that is passed down through the male line to one daughter in each generation who is given the name Rachel. The brief wraparound segments concern Rachel Kane, who is presented with the gem, in accordance with family tradition, on her wedding day. As she touches the diamond, she is granted a vision of each of the previous Rachels who possessed it. Some Rachels lived happily, some did not; but each was called upon to risk everything for love, for honor, for family.
What I found most appealing about The Books of Rachel is the idea of tradition and continuity along a family line. The real treasure the Cuheno family possesses is not wealth or jewels, but Judaism, which manifests itself differently for each Rachel and for each era of history.