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Mazal­tob is psy­cho­log­i­cal­ly astute, high­light­ing clash­es?—?of tra­di­tions and of val­ues?—?that are incred­i­bly mod­ern. The his­to­ry of this lit­tle-known cor­ner of the Jew­ish world where ?“the Sephardim view them­selves as aris­to­crats” is fas­ci­nat­ing and moving. Ben­da­han was ahead of her time as a fem­i­nist yet of the moment as a nov­el­ist. She had one foot in twen­ti­eth-cen­tu­ry Euro­pean cul­ture and anoth­er in the rit­u­als and rhythms of ancient Sephardic Jewry.