by: Rachel Beanland
Every summer, Esther and Joseph Adler rent their house out to vacationers escaping to “America’s Playground” and move into the small apartment above their bakery. This is the apartment where they raised their two daughters, Fannie and Florence. Now Florence has returned from college, determined to spend the summer training to swim the English Channel, and Fannie, pregnant again after recently losing a baby, is on bedrest for the duration of her pregnancy. After Joseph insists they take in a mysterious young woman whom he recently helped emigrate from Nazi Germany, the apartment is bursting at the seams.
When tragedy strikes, Esther makes the shocking decision to hide the truth—at least until Fannie’s baby is born—and pulls the family into an elaborate web of secret-keeping and lies, bringing long-buried tensions to the surface that reveal how quickly the act of protecting those we love can turn into betrayal after tragedy.
Helen says: 🤓🤓🤓 3/4
This book was popular about 2 years ago and received rave reviews. Spoiler alert- Florence Adler dies in the first chapter- not really what I was expecting! It had a slow start, but it gets better and better as you get further in the book. Grab your Hebrew dictionary if you have one handy- you will need it or certain parts will be lost on you. Make sure to read the afterward- it was based on a true story of the author’s aunt – a very touching tribute.
I really enjoyed this one – a little slow, and at times I felt as though Florence Adler was going to swim forever, but a good read. I actually enjoyed it more once I read the Author’s Note at the end of the book – until then, maybe a 3 reading nerd book, but a wonderful real life tie-in from the author. If you watch Mrs. Maisel, Joseph reminded me a bit of Moishe.