“I had been moving between two planets, the Inside and the Outside. The horror of the Bronx Home News story was that it leaped the interplanetary void; and ‘my David,’ the synagogue paragon, was proclaimed in public print as the mental and physical giant of Townsend Harris Hall. That was what I had to live down, unless by a miracle it escaped notice.”
Inside, Outside is written in the first person as Israel “Izzy” David Goodkind recounts his youth and early adulthood growing up in New York as a Jew while at first mostly surrounded by Jewish people of his status and later as he ventures into the wider world. Herman Wouk takes us on a journey as Izzy struggles to keep his “inside” faith among the “outside” world as he makes his way in the wider world. The novel is full of humorous stories, tragic events, and deep faith as we follow along this young man working hard to keep his inside world from the outside and the outside world from invading his inside home.
I struggled at first to get into this book. I couldn’t grasp the need for the depth that Mr. Wouk took us in telling this tale. And I tired of it early and often. I persisted and was treated with a wonderful and warm story masterfully told by the author. That early detail was the base coat that I needed to understand all of the final touches of the book. It had been a few decades since I read one of this author’s books and I am glad to reacquaint myself with his writing.