Ora’s Odyssey by Ora Mor


Ora Mor has an incredible story to tell, captured here in her photographic memoir entitled “Ora’s Odyssey.”  Ora’s story begins in the American Southwest, where she is born into a family populated with larger-than-life characters.  There is Ora’s grandmother, who seems to contain boundless joy and youth, letting out whoops at the supermarket deli counter; Ora’s mother and father, the latter an argumentative man whose views on religion cast a tense cloud over the clan; her many brothers and sisters; and a whole crew of warm-hearted critters.  As Ora grows into her womanhood, she begins to question her father’s religious dictations, feeling herself drawn toward Judaism instead of Christianity.  Eventually, she summons the courage required to break away from her father’s domineering grip and strike out on her own, forging a life for herself out of sheer ambition and positive energy.

At times, Ora’s story seems nearly too fantastical to believe, bringing to mind similar family narratives like Big Fish that place an emphasis on embellishment.  Ora’s father, for example, is bitten by a black widow spider during the dead of night, though the rough-tempered man miraculously survives the spider’s poison – but that is also this story’s appeal.   The author paints her family in bold, vibrant brushstrokes that elevate Ora’s Odyssey and prevent it from becoming just another American memoir.  Readers will find themselves entirely invested in Ora’s future, and will draw inspiration from one woman’s journey toward spiritual, familial, and personal happiness.  This is a remarkable story that branches off in unexpected yet wholly satisfying directions – just like life.

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