Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Book Review: The UnAmericans by Molly Antopol

Title: The UnAmericans: Stories
Author: Molly Antopol
Enjoyment Rating: ****
Source: Audible
Content Alert: some swearing, sex

An ex-convict and his son take a road trip to Napa in the 1950s. A political science professor in Maine attempts to rein in what his daughter will say about him in her off-Broadway play. A recently divorced owner of a dry cleaning shop picks up a Ukrainian woman and finds himself married in Kiev. An Israeli soldier saves his brother's life. What do these stories (and several others) have in common? All are represented in Molly Antopol's stunning collection The UnAmericans.

I didn't know this was a collection of stories when I started it, and when the first story ended, I was left with a deep sense of loss. I wanted to know so much more about these people, their lives, and the resolution they would come to. Thankfully, the stories that came after were just as interesting and satisfying as the first. I particularly loved the last, the story of an estranged couple from Vermont who reunites in Jerusalem to settle the estate of her grandmother. The collection features Jewish characters, some American, some with no ties at all to America, so the title puzzles a bit, but the stories are definitely worth reading.

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