When We Were Bad: A Novel by Charlotte Mendelson

When We Were Bad: A Novel

byCharlotte Mendelson

Kobo ebook | September 30, 2009

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'The Rubin family, everybody agrees, seems doomed to happiness' Claudia Rubin is in her heyday. Wife, mother, rabbi and sometime moral voice of the nation, everyone wants to be with her at her older son’s glorious February wedding. Until Leo becomes a bolter and the heyday of the Rubin family begins to unravel . . . ‘As intelligent as it is funny. A beautifully observed literary comedy as well as a painfully accurate description of one big old family mess’ Observer ‘Fast-paced and engaging. Brilliant, touching and true’ Naomi Alderman, Financial Times ‘Absolutely spellbinding, so funny, so moving, so totally believable’ Jacqueline Wilson ‘Intelligent and witty. The Rubin family may be a singular one but the delights and the difficulties its members have with sex and spirituality, food and domesticity, expectation and achievement, will have a universal appeal’ Sunday Telegraph ‘Funny and emotionally true, this is a comedy with the warmest of hearts and the most deliciously subversive of agendas’ Book of the Month, Marie Claire When We Were Bad is a warm, poignant and true portrayal of a London family in crisis, in love, in denial and – ultimately – in luck.

Title:When We Were Bad: A NovelFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:September 30, 2009Publisher:Pan MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0330475118

ISBN - 13:9780330475112

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Rated 2 out of 5 by from The Family Drama of European Jews (thebookblog.ca) While When We Were Bad addresses many deep and relatable materials about family life, most of the book’s content flew over my head entirely. Most reviews and blurbs make an off-hand mention of the book’s overpowering humour, but I found I missed most of it. Of course, what can I expect? The book was written in the UK for people in the UK, and it was also written by a Jew for other Jews. It also didn’t help that I realized halfway through the novel that the embarassment of the characters reminiscent of Alice, I Think that makes me flinch was also supposed to be an element of humour. I felt that being a secular Canadian led to me understanding little. Of course, the target audience is a decision that an author has to make, and I simply did not belong in her category. In the end, this novel spelled out a poor choice for me. I had a hard time getting through it - not because of the writing, which is light and pleasant - but because of my crippling lack of interest. I can see the book’s advantages, however, I’m just sorry to say that it simply did not work for me. If you’re European or a Jew or both, this is a must-read. If you like family drama, you would probably like this book. If you appreciate scandalous humour, you would probably appreciate it a lot more than I did. This novel just really wasn’t for me.
Date published: 2008-04-30