Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sima's Undergarments for Women by Ilana Stanger-Ross

Flap copy from ARC:
"There are some life-long quests that all women have in common- meaningful work, true love, and a bra that doesn't leave red marks on your skin...In the comfort of her Brooklyn basement bra shop, Sima Goldner teaches other women to appreciate their bodies, but feels betrayed by her own. Shamed by her infertility and a secret from her youth, she has given up on happiness and surrendered to a bitter marriage. But then Timna, a young Israeli with enviable cleavage, becomes the shop seamstress. As the two serve the colorful customers of the orthodox Jewish neighborhood, Sima finds herself awakened to adventure and romance. Years after giving up on their marriage, Sima and her husband Lev must decide if what they have is worth having."

This book goes so much further than the blurb above captures, though it is hard to say too much about that without spoilers. In the very beginning, it was hard to connect with Sima, but the narrative quickly reveals the depths of her pain and her tragedy. I though this would be a novel about friendship, but it isn't really- it is a story about love and loss and small decisions that have lasting consequences.

Stanger-Ross has created a moving tale of one woman's battle with infertility, and as Sima's story unfolds, my heart ached for her. This is sad book, a picture of how easy it is to withdraw from life and love, and how hard it is to ever make your way back. I highly recommend this book; four strong stars.


Ilana said...

Thank you Colleen for taking the time to review Sima, and I'm so pleased you liked it. And it's such a thrill for me--as what you wrote is so much what I'd tried to convey. The novel has only been out 1 week, and it's my first, and I am just overwhelmed to think of people reading it, and thinking about it, and enjoying it...

All best,

bermudaonion said...

I loved this book too!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recommendation! I just read this over the weekend, and really enjoyed it. (Although it was very, very sad.)