Deirdre's Reviews > Sima's Undergarments for Women

Sima's Undergarments for Women by Ilana Stanger-Ross
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's review
Apr 17, 2009

it was amazing
Read in April, 2009

I love love love this book, I couldn't put it down! It's beautifully written, alternating the humor and the tragedy of lives lived. Stanger-Ross has crafted rich, genuine characters - I felt Sima's silent emotional struggle as though it were my own, while Timna felt like so many young women I have known.

Sima is a local wonder in her tiny basement lingerie shop, where "in a glance she could see their size, the back and the cup combined. '36-D,' she'd say ... In vain the women protested, 'but I'm a 34. I've always been.' [But:] when on her advice they slipped back on their shirts to evaluate the shape a new bra gave, they inevitably agreed." Her loyal customers rely on her to fit them, their sisters and their daughters with the perfect underwear while at the same time hearing their joys and sorrows and providing meaningul advice. This role has been Sima's for so long that she has completely forgotten how to think about her own problems, her own needs -- until Timna arrives, a breath of fresh air for the shop and the daughter that Sima and her sad husband Lev never had.

Watching Timna explore New York and her own freedom and youth, Sima is forced to examine her own life and the secrets and shames she has held since adolescence - and ultimately to accept her husband and begin the task of rebuilding their love. With graceful, unselfconscious prose Stanger-Ross brings to life the hidden stories all around us. I give this book a rousing 5 stars -- read it and you'll want to share it with all the women in your life.

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