Michelle's Reviews > The Arrogant Years: One Girl's Search for Her Lost Youth, from Cairo to Brooklyn

The Arrogant Years by Lucette Lagnado
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Oct 30, 2011

really liked it

I really liked Lagnado's previous memoir, The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit. I had known nothing about Egyptian Jews before reading that book, and her portrait of her dad was very touching. I was worried about whether I'd enjoy The Arrogant Years, as the reviews said it covered much of the same territory. Silly worry. The Arrogant Years touched me to the heart. Though the beginning is set in Egypt, the heart of the book is in the United States. Lagnado is my age, and we might've intersected at a couple of points. That we didn't is of no real matter. Where we did intersect is being young women at a time when what that meant was changing. Her tales of attempted rebellion against the divider in her synagogue, and then of being a fish out of water as a city girl at Vassar rang a real chord. The saddest, almost unbearable part, is what happened to her mother after she had a stroke. All in all, though, I'd say you don't need to be Jewish or a New Yorker to love this memoir as I did, you almost certainly do have to be female.
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Brenna Really enjoyed this book and the way she was so descriptive of all of the characters. Felt as though you knew them. What a caring person she is and mostly positive about life with all of the hardships she endured. So glad she found love and happiness.


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