|Publisher:||Workman Pub Co|
|Publish Date:||Jan 2012|
|Number of Pages:||269|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||0.6|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||5.5 x 8.5 x 0.75|
In his first novel, award-winning poet Shapiro (Tantalus in Love) offers an endearing, witty, and heart-warming take on family life-specifically on how dreams and reality do not always coincide. Miriam Bluestein grows up in a fractured Jewish family, living with her grandparents and having only limited contact with her exotic and mysterious mother. Her father, a peripheral figure, makes the occasional, shy visit as well. Miriam spends most of her time dreaming of one day finding fame on the stage but instead is saddled with a not always understanding husband and three frustrated children. She ends up trying to realize her dreams by becoming an overbearing stage mom to Ethan, her only child to show any real promise for the theater.
Verdict: Equally sad and laugh-out-loud funny and boasting a cast of vibrant characters, this book is sure to hit a nerve with readers, no matter what their background. Readers will find themselves alternately rooting for Miriam and for her much-suffering family members. Sure to be a favorite.
-Leann Restaino, Girard, OH
(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
As a little girl growing up in Boston, Miriam Bluestein fantasized about a life lived on stage, specifically in a musical. Get married, have a family—sure, maybe she’d do those things, too, but first and foremost there was her career. As a woman, she is both tormented and consoled by those dreams in her day-to-day existence with her family, including a short-tempered husband, a cranky mother, and three demanding children, one of whom, Ethan, shows real talent for the stage.
It is through Ethan that Miriam strives to realize her dreams. As she pushes him to make the most of his talent, the rest of her life gradually comes undone, with her husband becoming increasingly frustrated and her other two children—Sam, a mass of quirks and idiosyncrasies, and Julie, hostile and bitter—withdrawing into their own worlds. Still Miriam dreams, praying for that big finale, which, when it comes, is nothing that she ever could have imagined.
Broadway Baby marks the fiction debut of a nationally acclaimed award-winning memoirist and poet, an acute observer of moments, people, art and language [who] packs even seemingly simple stories with many layers of meaning ( Publishers Weekly, starred review).
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