This is the author’s third novel and I have read all her work. I have to say that I enjoy her writing enough that if I see her name on the cover, I will get a copy.
This book was a charming, dual timeline foray into the lives of two Jewish American women, both of whom I admired and would like to know in real life. Set in New York City, the novel explored the Jewish immigrant experience in the 1920s and 1930s as well as a more modern look at Jewish life in the 1990s. In the book, the reader is privy to many Jewish customs and practices, which the Russian Jews brought over to their community in the Lower East Side of New York. A community rich in history and Jewish culture to this day.
Today we think of ‘matchmaking’ as a somewhat antiquated practice with no real value, however the Jewish faith once held the practice as a very important and solemn one. Dowries were common, and the hiring of a matchmaker (shadchanim) expected.
The modern day story was easy for the author, as in 1994 she too was a young lawyer working in New York City. This lent the work authenticity.
I relish historical fiction that is well researched and this author devotes much time in laying the groundwork for her novels. Additionally, she creates characters who are realistic and likeable. This time out the story was a touch fanciful, but that didn’t deter my enjoyment of it in any way. It was the story of a grandmother and a granddaughter united via their inherent gift for matchmaking. They were shadchanteh, the Yiddish word for a female matchmaker.
Highly recommended to those readers who appreciate entertaining historical fiction that hold just a touch of magic…This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from St. Martin’s Press/Macmillan Publishers via NetGalley.
ISBN: 9781250278098 – ASIN: B09NTJWQMG – 320 pages
Lynda Cohen Loigman grew up in Longmeadow, MA. She received a B.A. in English and American Literature from Harvard College and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. Her debut novel, Two-Family House, was a USA Today bestseller and a nominee for the Goodreads 2016 Choice Awards in Historical Fiction.