The story teller here is Sophie Applebaum. First chapter starts with 12 year old Sophie describing her experience going to a bat mitzvah for the “perfect” Rebecca who is a friend of the family. You learn Sophie has with two brothers, a father who is a judge by profession and a mother who worries about what other people think. You start to get the character development and personalities of the brothers and parents right away.
It’s not an extraordinary coming of age story but an honest depiction of this family unit and how they interact with one another for years. The book starts when Sophie is 12 and by the time it’s ended, I am guessing she is about 37+/- It’s not gooey chick-lit. It’s not a romance. Nor is it drama. Some of the scenes with her brothers are described in realistic detail. Their conversations are peppered with teasing, loyalty and concern which many siblings go through in their adult relationships with one another. Not riveting but believable…..and that’s what kept me reading this book. It was believable.
There are a few chapters in which you get a more intimate glimpse of what’s going on in her mother’s head. Things you don’t want to think about with your own mother. There is a close friendship which is left by the wayside, a casualty of adult jealousy regarding a man. Scenarios which are not dynamic but things that actually happen to some of us.
In my opinion it ends rather abruptly but I came away with the impression Sophie finally realized she doesn’t always need to be on the hunt for the perfect mate. Life is what it is. It’s rarely the exciting car-chase, romance of a century, families coming together in perfect harmony experiences. It just isn’t.
I enjoyed it and I would certainly read more by Melissa Bank.
Basic plain food came to mind when she described any meals she shared with her family and boyfriends. So…pork chops baked with caramelized onions and sage. I have made this before and I will direct you to my original post for the recipe at Squirrel Head Manor HERE