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.
First, this is not a plot driven novel. If you require a story line that moves quickly, this one is not for you.
That said, if you pass this one up you will miss a deeply absorbing experience. This is the first Eleanor Widmer I've "read". Her characters are so complex, so real, flawed and lovable, you feel as though you know them.
The setting is heartbreakingly detailed. It really is a wonderful work.
I'm neither Jewish, nor Russian, nor a New Yorker...but I felt I had entered a profoundly interesting, and moving family history. The narrator of this was incredible and brought each character to life.