Monday, May 5, 2014

FROM BOMBOLONI TO BAGEL by Jacqueline Semha Gmach

This interesting and informative book detailing the life of a Jewish woman born and raised in Tunisia and finally living in America is written in a series of vignettes.  The order of the vignettes wanders from Tunisia to France to Canada to Israel and America and back again.  The reader often wishes the order were more chronological, but the tales are interesting and follow a thematic message.

The structured life of a very sheltered and privileged family is detailed although the effect of WWII is glossed over initially. When the author moves to France for university we learn more of her life and the life of her future husband as the Shoah (Holocaust) shatters Jewish life in Europe and North Africa. The structured life of observant Jews is detailed and made interesting for the general reader.

Finally the author lives out the advice of her first “real” teacher – If you want to succeed, you can – and finds a fulfilling and very successful life in America, the land of the bagel.

4 of 5 stars

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