Books: The Body Snatchers

MICHEL, MICHEL by Robert Lewis. 735 pages. Simon & Schuster. $7.50.

After a publisher produces two hits, a good move is to find a third book that mates them. Simon & Schuster boasts one of the year's biggest Jewish novels, The Chosen, as well as a more lighthearted Catholic bestseller, The Secret of Santa Vittoria. Their publishing offspring is a Catholic-Jewish novel—specifically the story of a custody fight between the two faiths that becomes a body-snatching contest.

Michel is a seven-year-old French Jewish orphan whose father died in a concentration camp; his mother swallowed cyanide to avoid being sent to one. During the...

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