Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Little Bride” as Want to Read:
The Little Bride
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Little Bride

by
2.92  ·  Rating Details ·  1,229 Ratings  ·  247 Reviews
"A masterful debut... Evocative of Alice Munro, Amy Bloom, and Willa Cather" - Jenna Blum

When 16-year-old Minna Losk journeys from Odessa to America as a mail-order bride, she dreams of a young, wealthy husband, a handsome townhouse, and freedom from physical labor and pogroms. But her husband Max turns out to be twice her age, rigidly Orthodox, and living in a one-room so
...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published September 6th 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Little Bride, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Little Bride

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson
Stories of early American pioneers creating new lives in the wild lands of the mid-Western plains are not new literary territory. Yet, the desolate environment provides an appealing backdrop for characters to test their mettle and authors to explore the themes of freedom and perseverance.
What Anna Solomon has accomplished in her debut novel, THE LITTLE BRIDE, is to take the familiar mail-order bride in the American Pioneer West story and add interesting twists based on little known, but actual,
...more
Edan
Apr 16, 2011 Edan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anna Solomon is a dear friend of mine and I had the pleasure of reading and critiquing early draft of this. I just finished re-reading the book (the published version!) this afternoon, and I am a bit breathless...it's such a beautiful, brave, compelling book about such flawed and complicated people who feel so incredibly real. I love the evocation of weather in this novel (so hot and dry! And then, wow, so c-c-cold!), and the way Solomon makes this particular moment of history come alive on the ...more
Suzanne
Sep 20, 2011 Suzanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Julie, Laura
Recommended to Suzanne by: Edan L and NPR
A good solid 4.5. After I read Edan Lepucki’s review on GR a few months ago, I put this on my to-read list. Then a couple of weeks ago I heard the author discussing this on NPR and moved it to the top. Anna Solomon was talking about the historical background for her book, how Jewish pioneers in the 1800s were sent out to the West to homestead, inspired by the vision of creating “a new Palestine.” But alas, most had zero in the way of farming experience or training, no mentors to guide them or re ...more
Elizabeth
May 17, 2012 Elizabeth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-reviewed
I just really did not enjoy this book very much. The writing wasn't terrible, although there were plot points and things I felt deserved more exploration and depth that were just abandoned along the wayside. The main character's utter selfishness was off-putting - she seemed to have an inner emotional life that was inaccessible to the reader (which is frustrating for me), and she really didn't grow in the slightest throughout the course of the book; she was still the same selfish person at the e ...more
Alyson
Jul 26, 2012 Alyson rated it liked it
Shelves: literary-ish
The blurb on this is weird, because it makes this book sound like a coming-of-age romance. Instead, it's really more of a character portrait of a semi-unlikeable young woman. Minna is clearly going through the motions in her life, doing what is expected of her, and this is brilliantly reflected in the writing, which can come off stilted and almost suffocating at times. She is a selfish, often uncaring person, looking upon her surroundings and others as if from a distance, studying them almost as ...more
Vicki
Oct 16, 2011 Vicki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whew. This was a really striking read -- actually the second story I've read recently about a mail order bride from Odessa. You know, the easiest thing to let slip from your mind about life three to five generations ago was how major a move was. People in Europe simply didn't pick up and leave their towns that often. Yes, they'd go to a big city for work here and there, but people didn't just leave the birthright that was their home town the way they do in America (in the past half century, anyw ...more
Lesley
Nov 11, 2012 Lesley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't remember the last time I read a book as beautifully written as The Little Bride. The writing is just exquisite!

The story, while fiction, is based upon real events I knew nothing about, the settlement of the west by pioneer Jews from Russia. I knew there were Jewish peddlers (that's how Goldwater's Department Store started) but I knew nothing about actual Jewish farming settlements. So that information was quite interesting. In fact, many small parts of the story were from the author's f
...more
Sharon
Sep 19, 2011 Sharon rated it did not like it
I wanted to enjoy "The Little Bride". I liked the history in the book but this was a book that I could have put down and not picked up again. The beginning of the book is very bleak but I made myself keep reading to find out what happens to the main character. The book doesn't get any better. I didn't exactly want a happy ending but I did expect a more detailed ending. I don't recommend this book.
Laura
Dec 23, 2011 Laura rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club, kindle
I did not expect to dislike this book so much! I did not care for the story or the author's style. So much of the story was just pointless -- similar to a person talking just to hear herself speak. The book might make for good book club discussion, but that's all.
Viviane Crystal
Sep 04, 2011 Viviane Crystal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Minna Losk has experienced much suffering by the time she's 16 years old. Her mother abandoned her father and her, and her father lives a tortured life between forgetting and memories that affect Minna until she lives her entire life surviving loss. Things are not much better after her father dies and she is shipped off to relatives and then a family who present as haunting, dysfunctional, and even mentally ill people. Her job is to be a serving girl. But lest one judge too quickly, these are Je ...more
Susan
Sep 12, 2011 Susan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this novel. I heard so many good things about Little Bride. From the Jewish literary community, and from people that attended BEA. I have also contacted the author, from her website to ask if I could review it. She sent me a copy.

But, I am sorry to say I did not enjoy reading it. I did not care for the characters, and I don't think the foul language was necessary.

In some respects the story reminded me of the novel, Away by Amy Bloom. Only because it was the hardships the
...more
Gayle
Feb 07, 2013 Gayle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Little Bride explores a piece of history I didn’t know much about: mail-order Jewish brides coming from Eastern Europe to marry men who had settled in the American frontier in the late 1800s. Minna, a 16 year-old from Odessa whose father died and mother abandoned her, takes a chance on a life in America with a man she has never met, as a means to escape her life as a housemaid. Max, a Jewish immigrant in South Dakota, sponsors her passage to America to be his wife.

This book is grim, grim, gr
...more
Marcie
Aug 27, 2011 Marcie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Litte Bride by Anna Solomon takes place in the late 1800s. The story begins in Odessa with the first glimpse of Minna. Minna is sixteen years old. She commits to a marriage that is arranged by an agency that fits wealthy, established Russian Jews with young brides. Although Minna is excited about her new life, she also has a lot of trepidation. However when she gets to America, Minna soon learns that things are not as she thought they would be.


Minna is the prominent character in this novel.
...more
Romancing the Book
Review by Sarah L: the emotional story of 16 year old Minna Losk who agrees to be a mail order bride to an unknown man in America. She endures hardship after hardship. Despite all the misery she encounters at such a young age, including her mother's desertion, her infant brother dying and her father's death along with her aunts kicking her out of her home afterward, she has dreams of a better life.

Minna has dreams and visions of a wonderful husband and a fancy home with servants but reality set
...more
Meredith Allard
This is my favorite type of historical novel to read: a novel that introduces me to a time I wasn't familiar with, a time I should know about. Because of my own Jewish heritage, or because of my fascination with the Pioneer era from my time in Boise, Idaho, I was drawn to this lyrical, poetic first novel by Anna Solomon.

Sixteen year old Minna Losk leaves Odessa--a difficult land of pogroms--to be a mail-order bride. Only she doesn't find the American life she wanted. Her husband Max is older, st
...more
Julia Reed
While i found the ending to be a little baffling, I did really enjoy "The Little Bride". It's a great, atmospheric read about a mail-order Ukrainian Jewish bride, arriving in America at the end of the 19th century. After imagining a house with a rich husband and servants who would save her from her life of drudgery and isolation, Minna is shocked to discover she's been sent to live with a widower with two sons in a dirty dugout in South Dakota. Lonely, but with no options, Minna tries to make th ...more
Hubert
Aug 31, 2011 Hubert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent debut novel from Anna Solomon about Minna, young woman from Odessa sent to South Dakota in the mid 1880s as a mail-order bride-to-be to the Orthodox Max, who has 2 sons the same age as Minna from a previous marriage. Solomon has a knack of immersing the reader in the claustrophobic mindset of this family, the desolate conditions of isolation and poverty that beset Minna in both warm and cold climates, and the delicate morbidly complex relationships amongst the family members. As a hist ...more
Karen B
May 01, 2011 Karen B rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
The Little Bride focuses on outcasts and what it must be like to voluntarily remove oneself from all that is familiar. This debut novel brings the reader into a world of isolation and hardship as seen through the eyes of several austere and solemn characters. Ms Soloman has a way with words, drawing the reader into Minna’s world and holding us hostage as we experience her hardships and pain.
From the very first chapter we feel Minna’s anxiety, her discomfort and even her shame while she is stripp
...more
Blyth
Jun 19, 2012 Blyth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been a while since I read a book by an author I met in person. It added an element of interest as i got to know this creature of my new acquaintance's mind, a young Jewish girl whose repeated abandonments drive her to sign up as a mail-order bride. Finally someone will want her. Minna ends up in the future South Dakota, betrothed to a 40-year-old Orthodox Jew farmer. Jews on the homestead. Who knew?

The Jewish colonists who come the closest to thriving in such harsh conditions are the ones w
...more
Rachelfm
A pretty interesting treatment of the immigrant experience: a teenage Ukrainian Jewish mail-order bride arrives in South Dakota to live in a dugout with her devout (if not devoted) groom and his two teenaged sons. I really appreciated this very different treatment of the midwestern immigrant experience and have to admit I had never considered what it would be like to be a Jewish pioneer in the Dakotas before reading this book.

Also, I have to give the author some props for making the word "Iowa"
...more
Susan
Sep 21, 2011 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This well structured and beautifully researched and written first novel is the product of obvious vetting by the Iowa Writers' Workshop, a complicated and richly detailed story of a young Jewish woman living in Russia/Poland who becomes a mail order bride and winds up in Sodakota. Minna is not exactly nice, but she is interesting for her honesty -- and unreliability. There are no details of how the characters look; that, and the nature of the conflict, give the book a biblical quality. My questi ...more
Karima
Jan 17, 2012 Karima rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written, here's a snippet:

And Minna could not summon a suitable anxiety. Inside the spirals of the wind, the whistling and growling, and purring and groaning, there was a silence. Her father had taught her this, how if you listened, it was there, how the noise of the wind was not in fact wind but all the things that were not wind being touched by it, and saying WIND.
(p. 240)

Some have labeled this book a love story. I disagree. There is little love in this book. It is an immigrant sto
...more
Kerry
Dec 27, 2016 Kerry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book reminded me of something I might have read in college - something that the prof said was important, strong themes, etc. that I just didn't get. I was intrigued by the historical aspects. I knew nothing of Jewish settlements in the west in the 1800s, and many of the descriptions of living on the prairie of South Dakota were great. But I didn't like any of the characters, and Minna, the main character, was the most irritating of all. I couldn't wait to be done with this book.
Marsha
A teenage Jewish girl from Odessa becomes the "mail order" bride of a middle age Jewish man living with his 2 adolescent sons in pioneer South Dakota. I didn't know whether to give this book 3 or 4 stars. While I wasn't truly captivated it is a book that will live in my mind for a long time...maybe that is more captivation than eagerly read. The book seems real and raw in its depiction of the life that Minna endured. Read this book and see what you think?
Connie Mayo
Sep 04, 2011 Connie Mayo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who knew there were Jewish mail order brides in turn of the century America?

I liked the protagonist, because she was neither a feminist trail blazer nor a dishrag - she was sort of passive-aggressive, and I thought that was realistic to what a woman could do in her circumstances. Her husband is also neither wearing a white hat nor a black hat - he's a very hard man to be married to, but not a bad man. It was all shades of grey, and I liked that.
Erika Dreifus
This is an accomplished and fascinating novel on so many levels. Please see my interview with the author. (Copy supplied by the publisher.)
Casey Laura Campbell
The author's style was unlike any I've read before. She has a style that turned a somewhat mediocre and boring tale into something where you relate and follow along with the main character. I miss the main character and I will keep this on my shelf to remember her story.
Cathy Scholtens
May 18, 2012 Cathy Scholtens rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Tried to read this 3 times, each time I put the book down in frustration. Boring boring boring. Maybe another person would book, I can't say the writing was poor, it just never grabbed me, and it just irritated me with its dragging on and on.
Tricia Rogers
Jan 02, 2012 Tricia Rogers rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't really like this book. Just sort of went on and on and then when nowhere. No true plot. Just kind of blah. Do not recommend it.
Nancy
Oct 26, 2012 Nancy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So the back cover made it sounds good, but it lied. Read the first 75 pages and couldn't get over the weird writing style and the graphic out of place scenes. On to happier pastures.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • When We Danced on Water
  • Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore (Empress Theodora, #1)
  • Lauren Yanofsky Hates the Holocaust
  • Brooklyn Love
  • Allegra Maud Goldman
  • Norah: The Making of an Irish-American Woman in 19th-Century New York
  • Paper Conspiracies
  • The Art of Blessing the Day: Poems with a Jewish Theme
  • Almonds and Raisins
  • The Beginners
  • Songs for the Butcher's Daughter
  • Lovely Green Eyes
  • The Empire of the Senses
  • The Arrogant Years: One Girl's Search for Her Lost Youth, from Cairo to Brooklyn
  • Kaaterskill Falls
  • A Young Wife
  • The October Killings
  • Black Monday (Stan Turner, #6)
4710481
Anna Solomon is the author of Leaving Lucy Pear and The Little Bride and a two-time winner of the Pushcart Prize. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in publications including The New York Times Magazine, The Boston Globe, One Story, Ploughshares, Slate, and MORE. Solomon is co-editor with Eleanor Henderson of Labor Day: True Birth Stories by Today's Best Women Writers. Previously, she w ...more
More about Anna Solomon...

Share This Book