In 1974, teenager Jake Stein wants to be a good Jewish boy. But, he finds himself struggling to reconcile his traditional beliefs and strong faith in God with his growing attraction to other boys. After he lands a part in the school play, The Diary of Anne Frank, he falls in love with the boy who’s playing the romantic lead. The following year, at Princeton University, Jake suffers ever greater temptations and angst.
This novel offers readers a compelling young hero trying to walk a path between desire and devotion, often with advice from the voice of God, or at least the voice Jake imagines the Almighty would have when instructing a young man to do the right thing.
Daniel began drafting the novel during a fellowship residency at the Norman Mailer Writers Colony in Provincetown, MA.
The Rainbow Awards awarded YELED TOV an Honorable Mention, saying, "This book is an absolutely gorgeous coming of age story. Jake's struggle to be a good man and a devout Jew as he wrestled with the realization that he's homosexual is a beautiful, sometimes devastating, but ultimately a hopeful journey to self-acceptance. It was the perfect balance of bittersweet, funny, and insightful. I highly recommend this novel." Elisa Rolle.
Book Reviews From the Press:
"Jaffe writes in a polished prose style…locating Jake's conflict in the particulars of Judaism and Jewish culture, while also presenting a story that will feel relatable to a wide audience…. An empathetic story of faith and desire." Kirkus Reviews.
"As I started to write this review, I learned that Philip Roth had died….And it struck me certain parallels existed between Roth and Daniel M. Jaffe. Some of the same themes exist in their work, especially the exploration of the 'promiscuous instincts' Roth has written about…. Those instincts are on full display in Jaffe's latest work, Yeled Tov.… Jaffe takes on Jake's story with a keen eye for detail and a good ear for dialogue. Jake's discussions with God are very well done, and the one near the end of the book will bring a tear to your eye as both he and God come to peace with each other. It did mine, anyway. And I'm an atheist." Out-in-Print (Jerry Wheeler).
Book Bloggers' Reviews:
"This is a wonderful read." www.thedesertbibliophile.com
"This book simply tore at my heart. Jake's character is instantly likable.... heartbreakingly beautiful..." Hopelessbibliophile.com.
"Yeled Tov is an honest, heartbreaking story ... which made me really happy in the end." https://msnoseinabook.com .
"This is such a powerful story." Instagram: @carlycravesbooks
"Talk about a terrific coming of age story! I just loved Jaffe's writing - the realistic and honest manner in which he portrays Jake is just so heartfelt and authentic. ...The writing, characters, and story are top notch - engaging, unforgettable and completely unputdownable. I LOVED meeting Jake and following him on his journey of self-discovery - it was truly such a great story." http://abookishwayoflife.blogspot.com/
"Yeled Tov reminds me of Michael Cunningham's work .... Both Jaffe's work and Cunningham's work are moving pieces that should be read – by everyone." Ronda Bowen, www.winingwife.com.
"The cast of characters between the covers of this book all but wandered off the pages and straight into my heart. Rarely are those in conflict with the protagonist written with so much heartwrenching empathy. From Jake, to his peers and teachers, to his family and faith community, the voices surrounding his journey ring true and complex....This was my first book by Jaffe and I am totally hooked. If you haven't read it, yet, I highly recommend it." https://iwriteinbooks.wordpress.com/
"Well written with a very lovable character that you can't help but feel for, YELED TOV is one that I would highly recommend." jessicamapreviews.com
"This was such a beautiful story and I was so glad to receive this copy to share. I hope you all pick up a copy to enjoy!" Instagram: @quietmountainreader
"There is so much to like in this book and first among those is the plot that shows Jaffe's own familiarity with Judaism yet while this is a book about a Jewish guy there is no need to be Jewish to enjoy it.... Jaffe's dialogue is excellent and is his character development....Jake's conversations with God are amazing and as you near the end of the book, you should be prepared to shed a few tears." Reviews by Amos Lassen.
Other Readers' Reactions:
"It's an excellent read that captures, openly and honestly, the pain of growing up 'different,' learning to understand and accept ourselves for who we are, and recognizing that we are still lovable, despite it all. Bravo to the author for putting the story out there for readers to devour." Cindy on Goodreads.
"Firstly, Yeled Tov is a stunning book: beautifully written, impossible to put down. Secondly, it may be one of the most important books that have ever been written on the coming-of-age subject....I would highly recommend to every high school to order a few copies of Yeled Tov and to make its reading compulsory. This book will save lives." Masha on Amazon.co.uk.
"A very heartfelt and real story of an observant Jewish boy's coming to terms with his real self. ...Mr. Jaffe handles Jake's journey with humor, empathy, and real emotion. I found the novel both entertaining and very moving." Eric L. Miller, Amazon.com.