This book is on the high end of the middle. It's a perfect 4 stars. I got the book during one of the audible sales, and this made it especially enjoyable for what it was. The story is deeply moving and I found the characters to be very familiar. The narration and the experience of listening to it was very sweet. The experience of listening to this book felt similar to spending time with an aging family member telling stories of their past. The story gets a little syrupy by the end and the main character is just a bit too idealized. By the end of the book it was too predictable that everything would always work out for this seemingly magical little girl.
I live in New York, so this book was especially enjoyable for its historical depiction of a major NYC neighborhood. The story is a great reminder that this city and our country is constantly changing and within one person's lifetime a community can take on a completely new identity.
To listen to a great book while I knit is heaven on earth.
There is not a lot of action in this book , but there is a tremendous amount of atmosphere. Lorna Raver brings this story to life. The characters are distinct and lifelike. The novel is a series of reminiscences of a child's past and of a time past. I enjoyed my time there. There was hardship but also much love. It is not romanticized but presented just so we can look at it and see for ourselves what those days may have been like.
At the top!
The entire book was memorable. But the author's relationship with her Bubbie is the most heartwarming of all.
LOVED the accents. I have selected this for my book club and have encouraged my friends to listen to the book to get the full effect.
I laughed at the author's comments, reflections, the discussions on sex and infidelity. I cried for the heartbreak of their living situation and their health problems. No spoilers here.
This is one of the best books I have read in a long, long time. It was so real, so believable. I wish Ms. Widmer had written more books for all of us to enjoy.
The author provides a peek into a world far removed from middle class America in the 21st century. It is worth listening to for the keen insight it provdes into life inside NewYork tenements through the eyes of a young girl. The story moves slowly, however, and I would have enjoyed it much more if it were considerably shorter.
terrific insight into the lives of a jewish family but not a religious family. fabulous narrator and will look for lorna raver again. too bad this author doesn't have any others here, i would get it in a minute!
I purchased this book based on the reviews, something I rarely do. This book was magical. As you listen, you become a member of this multi-genrational family. You laugh and cry along with them. This is more than a coming of age story, it is a glimpse into a bygone era and the culture of immigrants making their way in America. I was left wanting to hear more of this family's life.
The narrator gives a phenomenal performance. It is always a pleasure to listen to Lorna Raver.
I am glad I bought this, but am also glad I didn't pay full price for it (bought it during the $4.95 sale.)
I liked the historical detail of life in the tenements of New York for the Jewish immigrants. I learned some interesting things about that life in the first half of the 20th century (did you know that people could run a restaurant out of a second-floor walk-up apartment?)
I would have liked it better if the author had been better about conveying time frames... it was hard to keep track of the passage of time. There was a GREAT deal of detail in some places; sometimes MUCH more than was needed.
Overall, I liked the book. The character development was reasonable and, in general, brutally honest. They had both charm and flaws, as well as depth. The narrator did a good job and, after the initial "getting used to it" period, I had no trouble following the characters.
My mother would have loved this story. It doesn't matter that the nationality is different, the city different. The story of the strong, honest immigrant family is universal. They used what they had, making something out of nothing., to be shared with others who had less. The stories my mother told of her young years during the depression, with 3 generations all living under 1 roof, were the same. I know she would have remembered her own loving grandmother, so wonderfully described in this book. What a precious heritage we enjoy! Well written, well read. Thank you.