Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sima’s Undergarments for Women by Ilana Stanger-Ross

A heartwarming tale of an unlikely friendship amid love, loss, and lingerie In the Basement of her Brooklyn apartment, Sima Goldner welcomes women of all shapes and sizes with warmth, acceptance-and a bra that gives them the support and lift they need.

But Sima, regretfully childless at sixty, and harboring a secret that has embittered her marriage, can't seem to do the same for herself. Then Timna, a young Israeli with enviable cleavage, arrives in search of a demi-cup and stays on to become the shop's seamstress.

As they laugh, gossip, and sell lingerie, Sima finds herself awakening to hope and the possibility of happiness in this beguiling story of New York's underground sisterhood, and one woman's second chance.

My take: 4 looks
I have a bit of a love/like with this book. At first, this is what I said on Shelfari.com about the book:
I feel like a mid-Victorian prude! I started reading Sima's Undergarments for Women and found the relationship between the two women more than a little creepy. It's not quite mother/daughter, not out-and-out lesbianism, but something a little more covert. I had to put it down and post the question: Should I read this? Have any of you read it, and can you shed any light?

A friend of mine read the book and told me that I was all wrong on it, and that I should get past this odd beginning (she agreed that it was written with a creepy vibe at first) and get to the nitty gritty of the relationship between the older and younger women.

I read on, and she was correct. Once I got past the initial reaction, I saw a terribly lonely, guilty and overbearing woman. I was so sorry for the way she handled her inability to have children, how it affected her marriage and her relationship with the younger Timna. She eventually pushed them away despite the fact that she needed them both. And the relationship that Timna and Lev forged with one another on the shared foundation of Sima was interesting. I also loved the Jewish element to the story. While I am not Jewish, I can imagine that this is exactly what many families of the faith are like.

I found this to be a very real, heart-wrenching story of loss, regret, and almost-too-late second chances. The characters are real, the friendships are real and the neighborhood is real. Recommended.

1 comment:

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