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The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer
Genre: Holiday Romance | Pub: 9.28.2021
Book Jacket Synopsis:
Oy! to the world
Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt is a nice Jewish girl with a shameful secret: she loves Christmas. For a decade she’s hidden her career as a Christmas romance novelist from her family. Her talent has made her a bestseller even as her chronic illness has always kept the kind of love she writes about out of reach.
But when her diversity-conscious publisher insists she write a Hanukkah romance, her well of inspiration suddenly runs dry. Hanukkah’s not magical. It’s not merry. It’s not Christmas. Desperate not to lose her contract, Rachel’s determined to find her muse at the Matzah Ball, a Jewish music celebration on the last night of Hanukkah, even if it means working with her summer camp archenemy–Jacob Greenberg.
Though Rachel and Jacob haven’t seen each other since they were kids, their grudge still glows brighter than a menorah. But as they spend more time together, Rachel finds herself drawn to Hanukkah–and Jacob–in a way she never expected. Maybe this holiday of lights will be the spark she needed to set her heart ablaze.
Book Format & Source: Signed paperback purchase
Review & Thoughts:
- Let me start by saying I loved this book so much!! This is going on my holiday favorites and my authors to watch lists.
- Romance tropes: second chance romance, misunderstandings/miscommunication
- Topics & themes: disabilities, chronic illness, chronic fatigue syndrome
- I liked the way mental health and physical health was written into the story. Invisible illnesses are so terrible and it’s even worse when people disregard it as if it’s a fake illness. You can’t begin to feel someone else’s pain and you should never discredit it as false.
- Sweet romance with an important focus on chronic illness and being true to yourself.
- I loved that the character’s stories were inspired by her miniature holiday figurines. What a fun way to find inspiration and storyline ideas!
- Fun fact: I 100% relate to the comment about the Jewish Goodbye. Oy vey!
- I totally loved the Jewish girl loving Christmas storyline – hello, that’s me!!
- There’s nothing quite like a book that’s completely Hallmark movie-worthy. This book would make for an awesome Hallmark Christmas/Hanukkah movie! Can they make that happen please?!
- So many people think Hanukkah is about miracles. But Hanukkah is really about fighting for the things you believe in. Everybody focuses on the oil, but there would have been no oil, no lamp, and no miracle had the Maccabees not taken up arms and stormed that darn temple. That’s the thing people forget about Hanukkah. We make our own miracles. We’re in charge of creating our own happy endings.
- She understood the lesson in the gift. Truth could be scary. Darkness might always endeavor to snuff out the light, but the strength of those who truly loved us would always push us forward. This was how we brightened an otherwise dark world. We filled it with truth, and love, and light.
Recommend for fans of: holiday romance, sweet romance, second chance romance, Own Voices
My Review Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
Romance Steam Factor: PG
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