Saturday, March 6, 2021

Mazel Tov: The Story of My Extraordinary Friendship with an Orthodox Jewish Family by Margot Vanderstraeten


DNF @ p.207

This is a tough book to rate because-- like all memoirs-- it can feel like you're reviewing the person and not the book. In memoir reviews, I do strive to be as objective as possible for this very reason, focusing on what happens in the book itself. There are some things about MAZEL TOV that are very interesting: beautiful descriptions of Belgium, an intimate study of a closed community (people who practice orthodox Judaism) within the microcosm of the family the author au pair'd for. The problem is that some of the questions she asked-- admittedly in her early 20s-- feel very rude and invasive, such as question about what it was like for their family during WWII and whether one of the daughters is "bothered" by her upcoming arranged marriage. Maybe some people will appreciate this author's frankness because of her honesty and the dialogues about culture that arose from it, but it made me uncomfortable.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!

2 to 2.5 out of 5 stars

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