by Elizabeth Mandel

Protestant, Muslim, Jew

One convoluted family of believers

Sadia Shepard, author of the memoir Girl From Foreign: A Search for Shipwrecked Ancestors, Lost Loves, and Forgotten Histories (The Penguin Press, $25.95), was raised near Boston by a white Protestant American father, a Pakistani Muslim mother, and her maternal grandmother, Nana. She grew up comfortable with her complex identity until, at the age of 13, she discovered that her grandmother had been born and raised Jewish in Bombay’s Bene Israel community, the tiny Indian Jewish community that traces its roots back to the Lost Tribes of Israel. Just before Nana’s death, Shepard promises her that she will return to her grandmother’s homeland. This book is the moving account of how she fulfilled that promise.

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