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Daughters Of Jerusalem

3.44  ·  Rating Details  ·  188 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
She is sick of this - the sooty castles of the Banbury Road... She is sick of navyblue corduroy, Gothic arches, famous fig trees, shabby dons' wives, cellars, rivers, genius children, stuttering and gold leaf. It is your fault, she thinks, approaching her husband's college, as she glimpses her neighbour, an entirely silent botanist, attempting to untangle his own beard fro ...more
Hardcover, 308 pages
Published August 18th 2004 by Picador USA (first published 2003)
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Jan 27, 2015 Angela rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was a book chosen at random. Although I finished it, I was left feeling that my time had been wasted on what turned out to be a truly boring book. I give myself praise for finishing it though lol
Nov 14, 2014 Liisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 27, 2014 Kay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is a lot to think about in this book, it is partly about family relationships and how we see each other. There was plenty to laugh out loud to as well. Victor is an older academic at Oxford who teaches relatively obscure history, his wife, Jean also works there transcribing dull original papers for another historian. Jean is intelligent and bored. They have 2 teenage daughters who are complete opposites of each other. Eve is 16, studying for A levels and extremely bright. She is desperate ...more
Dec 22, 2015 Barbara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was a bit pathetic. It is described as a "farce" but it seems to be based on the lives of people who are so weird that they can't possibly exist. Some of the "humour" seems to me to be very cruel. If the much-vaunted "dysfunctional family" is really typical in any way, then surely the whole of Oxford would cease to function. The conversations are stilted and don't resemble anything like the way people speak. And we never find out what happens to poor Victor, who redeems himself in the end. ...more
Jan 18, 2010 Alena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer, fiction
Charlotte Mendelson seems to specialize in writing about dysfunctional families. And boy, did she ever pick a dysfunctional one for this novel.

I can't even begin to say what all isn't working right for the Lux family. The father lives in his head, the mother seems totally lost, the teenage daughters can't stand each other, which I guess is in the range of normal, but the degree in which they make each others' lives miserable certainly is not.

The most fascinating theme in this book is that how yo
Sep 14, 2014 Wildlx rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lesbian, literature
Daughters of Jerusalem follows during an academic year the Lux family, apparently normal on the surface, but on reality completely dysfunctional. Victor, a history lecturer at Oxford, is obsessed with being chosen for the prestigious Spenser lecture and with his rival fellow lecturer Raymond. Jean, his much younger wife, that passively sees life passing by and then gets involved in a lesbian affair with her best friend Helena. Eve, the self-mutilating intelligent but social inept elder daughter, ...more
Dec 31, 2014 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in Oxford, this isn't quite an AGA-saga but it does qualify (for me) as a comfort read.

At times I wanted to shake Jean and tell her to actually pay attention to her daughter Eve; her preferred daughter, Phoebe is a complete horror but of course Jean never sees that. Then there's Jean's friend Helena, who discovers and confesses to a lesbian attraction to Jean, an attraction that Jean starts to reciprocate (but my guess is that she's responding more to the attention and affection than discove
Judy Fowler
(RR) I enjoyed this much more on the 2nd reading-not a literary piece but interesting and funny too. (This is the first time I have ever had a slight understanding of self-harm as a physical release-is that what it is like?)
Ying Ngai
Apr 06, 2015 Ying Ngai rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite a difficult read but ultimately worth it. It's also recommended that one allocate quite some time to reading this book, as there will be multiple parts that you want to read over multiple times.
Cathy Bryant
Apr 25, 2014 Cathy Bryant rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I adored this with every fibre of my being. It really captured just how wrongly we interpret things, and how easy it is to fall into traps of our own devising, and yet it was full of wit and charm too.
I have been picking up at random things I meant to read and giving them a try - with a condition I set up with myself, no guilt if I quit and no persevering if an effort. And this is one of the quits.

Its not exactly bad, put it down to the reader and circunstances. Its nicely written, and the atmosphere is fabulous, Oxford ( the geographical place, and more than that the idea of a great university full of great eccentrics) is practically the main character and its charming. But the human charac
Sep 18, 2012 Lorraine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
At the beginning. Gripping!18 Sept 2012, finished reading. Weird book, absolutely weird. The mother, feeling unloved and unappreciated at home, embarks on a lesbian affair!!!! The kids are equally crazy! The husband suffers from a lot of syndromes: he is an immigrant, orphaned at an early age therefore doesn't believe that he is good enough for anything. He is well educated mind you, a Fellow at a prestigious univeristy...but is battling with his own ghosts!!!Haai!!!!The diction is a bit academi ...more
Apr 22, 2015 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 really.

Jan 04, 2012 Maggieg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having previously read "When we were Bad" I enjoyed this one more. Set in the cloistered world of Oxford academia it features a rather dysfunctional family - donnish father obsessed by an academic rival, mother distracted by a blossoming alternative relationship and two feuding sisters. The depiction of sibling rivalry and all the accompanying angst is superb.
Interesting to read about the academic world in Oxford but all the characters were thoroughly unlikeable and their relationships quite disturbing.
Roseann Connolly
Dec 10, 2015 Roseann Connolly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: great
Interesting book about sibling love and hate. Couples - how they get together and how they fall asunder.
As frustrated as I was by the lack of action and compassion taken by any of the characters in this book, I missed the characters once I'd finished reading it. It was hard to get in to this story, and fairly bleak.
Obnoxious academics nursing secret affairs and petty grievances. Lots of lousy parenting and tyrannical children. Nice Oxford setting. Readable but annoying.
Jan 15, 2008 Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
For those of you who like teenage angst and stories about posh people in Oxford. I read to the end but I can't say I enjoyed it all that much.
Laureen Vonnegut
Oct 28, 2007 Laureen Vonnegut rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: literary readers
beginning a little hard to get into but loved the rest. beautiful consistent style. good development of sibling rivalry.
Aug 06, 2011 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book although indecisive characters became annoying sometimes, but well worth reading
I can't put the book down but I am so frustrated by the treatment of the sisters.
Loved her essay on the Powell's blog.
May 29, 2010 Gemma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
I found the end to be excruciating and read it with my eyes half-closed.
Amy Plum
Feb 04, 2010 Amy Plum rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed my second Charlotte Mendelson read!
Mar 03, 2008 Grania rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ambivalent
Peter rated it really liked it
Feb 09, 2016
Patricia Roman
Patricia Roman rated it liked it
Feb 08, 2016
Charlene Kobitzsch
Charlene Kobitzsch marked it as to-read
Feb 07, 2016
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Charlotte Mendelson (born 1972) is a British novelist and editor. Her maternal grandparents were, in her words, "Hungarian-speaking-Czech, Ruthenian for about 10 minutes, Carpathian mountain-y, impossible to describe", who left Prague in 1939.
When she was two, she moved with her parents and her baby sister to a house in a cobbled passage next to St John's College, Oxford, where her father taught p
More about Charlotte Mendelson...

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