Friday, October 12, 2012

Real Advice, Real Family, Real Love

Secrets of a Jewish Mother by Gloria Kaen, Lisa Wexler, and Jill Zarin
I liked Jill Zarin when she was on Real Housewives of New York. At least I liked her, as much as you can when you're Team Bethany. So when I saw this book I was excited to pick it up. (I may have also been excited about the fact it was 90% off at a Borders closing sale, but that isn't really the point here.)

I did want to like this book, but overall I wasn't a huge fan. I thought that the title was clever. But reading over and over "This is what a Jewish mother does... This is how a Jewish mother does it... Every Jewish mother does this..." just got really repetitive, and in some ways made me resent the phrase Jewish mother. I'm Jewish and I felt this way, so I can only imagine what's it's like for someone whose not Jewish who reads this book.

I did enjoy the personal stories within and the different viewpoints, since it was written by Jill, her mother and sister. In a lot of ways think this would have been better as a memoir with more family recipes included. (Although the recipes included don't seem very appetizing.) Unfortunately it was much more of a self-help book, and within each chapter there are lists of questions to get you thinking about the topic their discussing. I do get what they're trying to achieve with these lists, but in some ways it just felt too preachy.

This is the first book I've read by any real housewife cast member, and in some ways it makes me want to stay away from the others. Although maybe next time I'd be better off choosing more of a memoir. (I'd probably want to start with Kyle of Beverly Hills, but the better choice would probably be Carol of New York who would an author first, housewife second.) I think that unless you're absolutely in love with Jill and you're Jewish, this might be one you'd want to stay away from.


Today I'm linking up with Blonde Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday!

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