The people in "Up From Orchard Street" do come alive... to a certain extent. Hence, the 4 stars in the "overall" category.
There was a certain amount of color that embellished the characters but somehow, I was always expecting a little more... of course this book is a partially true historical recounting of growing up in early to mid century New York City and the author may have stuck so closely to facts that any fictionalized dramas may have not been the direction Widmer, the author, wished to head. That made for a slightly predictable means of seeing the characters in most situations.
However, the book held my interest and you might find the characters more colorful than I did. Lorna Raver did a great job with the immigrant accents speaking English and also Yiddish.
Finally, in the afterword, I thought Widmer might have her real story. What she says, briefly, happened to her and her family's lives after she became an adult, might actually be more interesting than recounting her memories of childhood.
But overall... I liked the book.
English teacher nerd, love books with character depth and a good plot, and enjoy almost any genre.
The story is pointless and I wasn't really sure of the plot. It dragged on mercilessly for over eight hours. I thought the grandma was hilarious but she really was a foil character and the other people seemed disingenuous and Whitney.
It was rated so high,y and compared to "The Chaperone". This story is a biography that is a complete fabrication of life in New York. It was unbelievable and didn't have any authentic description or detail.
Yes- she read like the story was a boring essay. She tried the accents but even those were mediocre.
None- no feelings at all!,,
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.
It's a young girl, coming of age story. No twists, turns or suprises. It was enjoyable, but not more. While writing this review I've changed my starts from 3 to 4. It's really somewhere in-between.