20 Books of Christmas Review #10: The Matzah Ball: A Novel by Jean Meltzer

My Interest

A Hanukkah -Christmas book? Sure! I spent the last few years of college enjoying the celebration of most Jewish holidays with a friend, her husband, and her parents. Her mother adopted me and bought me groceries when she shopped for her wonderful son-in-law, the scholar! LOL. I’ve eaten matzo cubes–because round matzo balls are too ordinary. I became a lifelong latkes addict and make them most years. Plus my great aunt and her second husband ran a summer camp in northern Wisconsin that provided a de-stressing time for high-pressure Jewish kids from Chicago’s suburbs in the late 50’s and 60’s (much like the camp Rachael and Jacob attended in the book). My kids and I have lox and bagels for Christmas breakfast. And, so what if Hanukkah ended last week–it’s all good. So yeah, bring on the Christmas-Hanukkah book!

The Story

Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt is the daughter of a world famous Rabbi and a doctor. So why, oh why, did she become a best-selling author of Christmas novels? And why, oh why, doesn’t she ever get the happily ever after that she writes in her books. Enter party planning mogul Jacob Greenberg, her long-ago summer camp nemesis and first kiss recipient. When Rachel’s publisher decides it’s time for a change–a Hanukkah Romance to compete with the Christmas romances, she finds herself needing Jacob’s upcoming Matzah Ball, a live-music, glam and glitz, celebration for the nights of Hanukkah for her research. But that’s when things start to go awry as opposed to “on rye.” A ten-foot tall menorah, pink fuzzy socks, a baseball mascot-cum Matzah Ball costume, a sweet and wise Bubbe, the now seemingly obligatory gay guy bestie, and more go into the story.

My Thoughts

This book was so much fun! Yes, I did wonder why her folks didn’t just say “and an ticket for Rachel, too?” when the tickets were handed out for the great night of the Matzah Ball, but heck, what fun would that be? Rachel and Jacob are a matchmaker’s dream couple. They complete each other. They each make the other better. I loved this. I loved the rather Trump-like investor too! LOL Fun without bringing politics into it.

This book was just plain fun. Pick up some jelly doughnuts or rugelach or even chicken soup with matzo balls and just nosh away while you read or listen. You won’t be sorry.

One small note to the editor of this book. How could you allow the phrase “her truth” to be used in a story line about a Holocaust survivor? Unthinkable. Trendy isn’t always best. Still, I loved the book.


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