Sunday, July 19, 2009

109 - Sima's Undergarments for Women; Ilana Stanger-Ross

In Sima's Undergarments for Women, Sima Goldner is a 65 year old woman, who runs a lingerie shop out of the basement of her Brooklyn home, which she shares with her husband, Lev of 46 years.

(Chapter 1- first paragraph......

"SIMA SURPRISED HERSELF BY BLUSHING AT THE ROUND perfection of the young woman's breasts. For thirty-five years, after all, breasts had been her business: she knew the slight curve of the preteen breast, its nipple rigid when unveiled in the cool air of her basement shop; the aching breasts of pregnant women, skin shiny and striped from stretch; the parchment breasts of the elderly, liver-spotted, soft with down; she knew breasts with pink nipples, olive nipples, brown nipples; nipples pushed in and pulled out, tiny as dimes, large as the ringed stain of a coffee cup; she knew heavy breasts on thin women and thin breasts on heavy women; breasts 28A, 52K, and breasts with a cup size between them. She even and of course knew the knotted red scar of the breast that was no longer there, the twisting keloid marker of what science had stolen away".

Sima teaches women to appreciate their bodies, even though her own body has disappinted her. Childless, Sima is saddened by the fact that she was never able to have a child. One day Timna, a beautiful Israeli woman wanders into Sima's shop in the Jewish Orthodox neighborhood. Sima becomes fascinated with this lovely woman. Timna is just out of the Army, and here without a visa, while waiting for her boyfriend to get out of the Army. When Timna learns that Sima is looking to hire a seamstress for the shop, she convinces Sima to hire her. Timna is like a breath of fresh air; she brings new life to the shop.

Sima quickly seems to become obsessed with the young, beautiful Timna, and through her she is forced to think about the regrets she's faced in her own life. A non-observant Jewish woman, who feels shame about her own infertility, she reassesses her life, her marriage and how to spend the remaining years she has left.

(p310)..."How many others like her, she thought, how many others lonely within their walls? And then one day realizing that every room has a door, and opening it".

A beautiful story, filled with colorful and sometimes flawed characters, it is much more than a story about an underwear shop. It is a story about love, loss, regrets and finally acceptance. I'm so glad I decided to read this endearing story. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

RATING - 5/5; COMPLETED - 7/18/09; Library Book


  1. I loved this book too. The characters in it were so rich and realistic.

  2. Just wanted to let you know that I stopped by today via a link on Farm Lane Books. You've a good blog here with lots of interesting titles. I'll be back.

  3. Thanks for this review. It really catches my interest on several levels!

  4. I've heard good things about this one. It's going on my list. Thanks for the great review.

    Diary of an Eccentric

  5. I love the quote that you posted from the book! After reading your review I definitely want to read this book. I'm adding it to my list.

  6. I'm headed over to right now to put this on my wish list. I've never heard of this book, and it sounds great. Thanks for the heads-up.

  7. I've never heard of this one before but it certainly sounds intriguing and different. It's enjoyable to read something different once in a while.

  8. Thanks for visiting my blog. This sounds like a wonderful book, I'm adding to my TBR list and adding you to my must visit blog list!

  9. This sounds wonderful! I'm definitely going to look for it!

    Well-written review! The quote at the end almost took my breath away!

  10. Talk about judging a book by its cover. I would never have picked up this book to read. Thank you for the inspiring review. I will definitely put this one on my TBR list right now.
    Bookworms Dinner

  11. I really enjoyed this one, it was a pleasant surprise for me. So glad to see you did too. :)

  12. Glad you liked this one. It sounds like a very endearing book, like something I would really enjoy. Great review!

  13. Sounds wonderful; hmmm, the cover looks lighter than what's inside it ...

    great recommendation/review - thanks!


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