Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sima's Undergarments for Women-Book Review

The post is dedicated to the August Jewish Book Carnival hosted by Marie, Boston Bibliophile and American Jewish Libraries.

Sima's Under Garments for Women
By Ilana Stange-Ross

Sima's Undergarments for Women takes place in the orthodox community of Boro Park, NY. Sima is a middle age women married to a retired school teacher, Lev. Sima and Lev were unable to have children.. They don't communicate very well with each other, Sima bickers most of the time or complains to Lev.  For years they have drifted apart in a loveless marriage.

  Sima owns a bra shop in a basement. Most businesses in NY are run in the basement.

   Timna,  a young Israeli woman is looking for work. Fortunately for Sima, she is in the need for a seamstress. Sima is living in a upstairs apartment with her husband.  Sima  complain to her husband, most of the time.  Basically, a "Fish Wife".Sima's whole life was the bra shop. The bra shop is the hub of the community. Everyone goes there.

When Timma comes to work for Sima. Sima starts re-living her past. She re-lives her history of her marriage, in-laws, her parents, and fertility questions etc.

Sima is living her life through Timma. She wants to be young again.  She doesn't want Timma to make the same mistakes she did.  Sima  is watching over her like she is her mother. She gives her motherly advise. Which Timma did not ask for any.  Sima gets in too deep at times and goes too far. She follows her home.  Sima calls Timma's boyfriend to tell him what she fears happened but stops herself short by inches.  Sima is a mother hen.  How far is too far??  Timna decides it is time to leave after passover.  How does Sima react with Timna leaving.   The rest you will have to find out for yourself by reading the novel.

My Thoughts:  The novel I felt was about regrets. I thought the author did a great job describing Sima's feeling. I am not exactly yet her age. But I am close. She did a great job re-capping how a middle age woman would feel recapturing youth.  She did a great job getting into Sima's head.    The book was a great catharsis for me. Since I am at the age realizing at times that how did life go so fast. I wish I could have talked to someone about this.  I did not even have to pay for a therapist. Ms. Stange saved me thousands of dollars of therapy sessions, LOL!!!  

I personally did not like Sima's character. She reminded me of all those Jewish women you would see in the movies.  A meddler, complainer, butting into other people's business, and a nag. I wish there was more story line with Lev. That would have made the story more interesting.  
Other than that I enjoyed reading the novel.  Hope to read more of her work soon.

1 comment:

Heidi Rabinowitz said...

I really enjoyed this book. I agree that Sima is not an easy character to like, but I did feel sympathetic towards her, even if I wouldn't actually want to spend time with her in real life.

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