Sunday, December 8, 2019

On Division; Goldie Goldbloom


TITLE: On Division
AUTHOR:  Goldie Goldbloom
PUBLISHER: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
PUB. YEAR: 2019
SETTING: Brooklyn, NY
FORMAT: audio/library
RATING - 4.5/5

Suri Eckstein, the protagonist of this insightful novel, is a Chasidic Jew who finds herself pregnant with twins at age 57.  She and her husband, Yidel, who is 62, have 10 children between the ages of 13 and 39. Her fears about what her husband will say and what their tight-knit community will think prevent her from talking about the pregnancy.  The couple lost a son who was gay to the AIDs epidemic, a few years earlier, so she feels as if she will be forever disgraced. Ashamed of her situation, the only ones who knows Suri is expecting is the staff at the community clinic where she also volunteers and checks in for her health checks.

I thought the author did a great job exploring the internal dilemma Suri is dealing with. The story was both serious and funny. I loved the sweet, loving relationship Suri and Yidel had, yet she still felt unable to confide in him. The story is rich in detail and Chasidic tradition. The language, early on , felt very foreign to me but, it didn't take long for me to just read and enjoy. The ending felt somewhat like a convenient wrap up, but, I liked it. Even though this was a work of fiction, I feel like I learned a lot about Chasidic culture and taboos. 

21 comments:

  1. That does sound like it would be rather interesting!

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  2. I've had this on my radar. Glad to know you enjoyed it.

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  3. It sounds interesting--I can't imagine how one would feel being pregnant with twins at 57.

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  4. This sounds like an intriguing story. Excellent review, Diane!

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    1. Great and different work of fiction, although, I wonder if in part it may be true.

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  5. This is appealing to me. It is an interesting community, though lately a lot has come out about how horrible it can be for women. Think of being pregnant at that age! It means I would have a fourteen year old right now. Whew! Really?

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    1. This was so different in many ways. Yes, I am happy I had my children in my early-mid 20's.

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  6. I hadn't heard of this before, but it sounds wonderful - certainly a unique plot!

    Thanks for sharing it -

    Sue

    Book By Book

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  7. This one sounds interesting and it's always great to learn about a new-to-me culture.

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  8. I like the sound of this one mainly because of the community in which it takes place. An inside look at such a community almost has to be fascinating.'

    But...twins as a 57-year-old mother and 62-year-old-father...that's the world I REALLY want to hear about. Wow.

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  9. I've read a bit on this culture and find it a tough one (for women). That is firmly only my opinion!
    This sounds an emotional read. Pregnant at 57 is hard in many ways. I'd love to see how it turns out.

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  10. There is a lot of truth in fiction and I love it when I can feel that I've truly learned something new or been able to connect with a previously unfamiliar culture through a novel. This one seems like it might fill the bill!

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  11. Yes, I was surprised by how interesting this was for fiction.

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