Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English by Natasha Solomon
Published by Reagan Arthur Books/Little, Brown and Company
At the request of Reagan Arthur/Hachette Books a HC was sent, at no cost to me, for my honest opinion.
Synopsis (borrowed from book’s jacket): At the outset of World War II, Jack Rosenblum, his wife, Sadie, and their baby daughter escape Berlin, bound for London. They are greeted with a pamphlet instructing immigrants how to act like “the English.” Jack acquires Savile Row suits and a Jaguar. He buys his marmalade from Fortnum & Mason and learns to list the entire British monarchy back to 978 AD. He never speaks German, apart for the occasional curse. But the one key item that would make him feel fully British-membership in a golf club-remains elusive. In postwar England, no golf club will admit a Rosenblum. Jack hatches a wild idea, he”ll build his own.
It’s an obsession Sadie does not share, particularly when Jack relocates them to a thatch-roofed cottage in Dorset to embark on his project. She doesn’t want to forget who they are or where they came from. She wants to bake the cakes she used to serve to friends in the old country and reminisce. Now she’s stuck in an inhospitable landscape filled with unwelcoming people, watching their bank account shrink as Jack pursues his quixotic dream.
My Thoughts and Opinion: I have to be honest that I was quite skeptical in reading this book because I received it with no prior knowledge and add to that, that this was a debut novel. It is not the type of book that I would routinely read, but was pleasantly surprised once I picked it up. Ms. Solomons writing style was written, with such detailed descriptions and with the flow of the story line, as if it was by a seasoned author. The characters relatable. I found that there were a gamut of emotions felt for both Mr. Rosenblum and his wife, Sadie due to the descriptive and poignant words that the author was able to convey to this reader. I did enjoy this book but, and this is my opinion and my opinion only, it was not a fast paced, page turning read. I didn’t find myself “needing” to pick it up. (Possible Spoiler Alert)……I was surprised to see that the premise of this story was taken from her “grandparent’s experience” and wonder if I had known that it was based on reality that I would have had a different reading experience.
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