The Little Bride by Anna Solomon
Paperback, 320 pages
Published by Riverhead Trade
September 6th, 2011
When 16-year-old Minna Losk journeys from Odessa to America as a mail-order bride, she dreams of a young, wealthy husband, a handsome townhouse, and freedom from physical labor and pogroms. But her husband Max turns out to be twice her age, rigidly Orthodox, and living in a one-room sod hut in South Dakota with his two teenage sons. The country is desolate, the work treacherous. Most troubling, Minna finds herself increasingly attracted to her older stepson. As a brutal winter closes in, the family's limits are tested, and Minna, drawing on strengths she barely knows she has, is forced to confront her despair, as well as her desire.
Okay, this wasn't the book for me. But I'm going to do my best to explain why.
First of all the writing style was really different. It was third person but told in a way that I just couldn't connect with the characters or the story at all. And on top of that I just didn't care for Minna. She just wasn't very like-able, in my opinion. She was in a tough situation but it seems like she could have handled things differently. I really felt no connection with any of the other characters either and was disappointed in how things played out. And then I felt no satisfaction with the ending.
Now, while I don't care for the style I can see how it would appeal to some. Anna is a good writer and some phrases used were quite beautiful and insightful. I found pieces that I was wanting to mark so I could come back to it. The characters kind of just 'fit' with the writing style and so it just kind of 'went together', you know? So it's just my opinion and taste that made me not care for it. It did make me more interested in learning about Jewish beliefs and customs. I really know nothing about them except they've always been persecuted. I really want to learn more about their faith. Also, I did giggle quite a bit while reading this because of some of the absurd situations. And I liked that. I found myself enjoying those bits and wishing for more of it.
If this sounds like one you'd like and you enjoy reading third person narration with a quirky tone then give it a try, I hope you enjoy it more then I did!
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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.