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On Herring Cove Road: Mr. Jew and the Goy Boy

(Herring Cove Road #1)

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4.15  ·  Rating details ·  2,215 ratings  ·  107 reviews
"...an easy read with characters I fell in love with. It's a wonderful story, at times laugh-out-loud funny and others sad." -Julie S., NY

An introverted old Jew, his doting but ill wife, and his unlikely friendship with the lonely child of his racist neighbor.

Once an amusing extrovert with a reputation as a prankster, Mr. Rosen is entering his senior years as a stoic, thir
...more
Paperback, 270 pages
Published June 4th 2014 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (first published April 28th 2014)
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Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,215 ratings  ·  107 reviews


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Deborah Mitton
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a modern - realistic version of "Dennis the Menace" or "Leave It To Beaver".

I read the 2nd book in this short series - which I gave 5 stars to as well. I walked around the kitchen thinking about the characters and hints of events that happened in the first book ... so I had to read it. Now that is a sign of an excellent writer or storyteller.

In the first novel I was able to meet "Ruth" who reminded me so much of my mother that I cried when ... (sorry spoiler alert ... can't tell you - yo
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Reeca Elliott
I have been on a roll lately…this is another 5 star read. And if you follow this blog…you know those are few and far between.

Avriel and his lovely wife, an elderly Jewish couple, move onto Herring Cove Road. Through an accident, they become friends with their next door neighbor and her son. This leads to many ups and down, joys and tragedies.

I can relate to Avriel in so many ways. He is an introvert and a pharmacist. Needless to say, he was my favorite character. But all the main characters ar
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Holly
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
The Herring Cove Road Series consists of four books. On Herring Cove Road: Mr. Rosen and His 43LB Anxiety is the first book in the series.

Ruth and Av Rosen move from a big house to a smaller one on Herring Cove Road. Due to an unfortunate accident, the Rosens become friends with their next door neighbors. At first, Av isn’t thrilled with his wife’s deepening friendship with Lisa and her son Dewey but soon he lets them into his introverted world. Lisa’s husband is a nasty drunk and she has had e
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Helen
Oct 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Avriel Rozen returned from World War II a broken man. His wife Ruth loves him dearly and has taken care of this quite introverted man who was once the life of every party. The date is 1976 and the setting is in Halifax, Canada. Ruth is a strong and intelligent woman who runs the business, manages the finances, and provides a loving home for herself and Avriel. A childless couple they are now settled in their retirement years. Ruth suffers from a heart condition that is progressively getting wors
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Rebecca Bryn
Feb 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A genuinely delightful story - beautifully written.
The story of an emotionally-scarred, childless elderly man and his wife, who move next-door to a vulnerable family with a young son. The writing style perfectly complements the main character, and what shines through on every page is the restrained but deep love the elderly couple feel for one another. As the old man and the young boy draw one another out of their self-imposed shells, a very moving bond develops. In this impeccably-told story e
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Electa Graham
Feb 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If I could give this book more than 5 stars I would. Michael Kroft is a fellow Haligonian. This book is set in Halifax and brought back memories of my childhood. Avriel and Ruth remind me of my grandparents and reading about them often made me smile and sometimes made me cry. His careful construction of the characters and the setting brought the story to life.
Mr. Kroft brings us a story that shows us how powerful love can be. It can make us want to live again. It can bring us through even the mo
...more
Deborah Mitton
Jun 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I read this book some months ago and fell in love with the characters. Michael Kroft has a beautiful way of describing situation and characters with warmth and humour.
Diana
Apr 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful Read!

Great characters and plot development...not quite as complex as "A Man Called Ov"...but very well written. I plan on reading the two additional books in this series.
Kyle
I feel like an ass for not liking this book. Maybe like a soul-less hack who can't appreciate just pure, nice friendships in an innocent story. Based on the website, Michael Kroft seems like a nice guy. I hope his writing has developed since the writing of this book.

This book was meh, just meh. I didn't hate it, but it didn't exactly draw me in.

I feel that there is a strong difference between an author and a person who writes books. Most people will look at that and go "there is no difference
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Sarah Stuart
Dec 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A complex and compelling book from the author of Still On Herring Cove Road: Hickory, Dickory, Death.

Avriel Rosen and his wife arrived in Canada and opened a chain of drugstores many years before this story opens on a June day in 1976. The number of stores was Mrs Rosen’s decision. Downsizing from their secluded house to another, less isolated, on a quiet road in Halifax was Mrs Rosen’s decision. Drama, in the shape of nine-year-old working-class Dewey, determined to be accepted into a gang of o
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T'leah
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So the title:
The book starts with Avriel Rosen, an elderly Jewish gentleman, leaving his house for work extra early to avoid the blue-eyed blond haired neighbor boy greeting him as "Mr. Jew." He thinks of wanting to respond with "Goy Boy" but his wife wouldn't approve of that language. But you find out fairly fast it's all one big misunderstanding, which I won't spoil for you because it's rather cute.

And that explains this novel. It's rather cute. There's some deep moments, a few stray tears,
...more
Teena in Toronto
Aug 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian
Mr. and Mrs. Rosen are in their mid-60s. Mr. Rosen owns a chain of drug stores in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Mrs. Rosen, because of health issues, is now a housewife. Downsizing, they have recently moved into a smaller house which is easier for Mrs. Rosen to take care of. Mr. Rosen is an introvert and his happy letting his more extroverted wife direct his life.

Next door to the Rosens are the Dixons. Because their nine-year-old son, Dewey, always calls Mr. Rosen "Mr. Jew", Mr. Rosen ignores the bo
...more
Poppy-Kathryn Dews
I almost quit reading this book several times, as it was often slow going, due to what I felt were mundane details and dialogue. BUT, I simply fell in love with the characters. Mr. Kroft did a wonderful job of bringing them to life with his words.

What I'd give to have people like Avriel and Ruth Rosen living next door! Intelligent, loving, and most caring of others, their relationship with one another was enviable. Reading about, and understanding, Ruthy's attempts to help her husband become mo
...more
Stacy
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my unbiased opinion.

Due to Ruth’s failing health, Avriel and Ruth Rosen move to a smaller house on Herring Road, becoming the first Jews on the street. Avriel keeps to himself as much as possible, but after Dewey, the boy next door, runs into Avriel’s car while riding a bike, the two families start to become friends.

This was not a bad book, but I just did not connect with it for some reason. There were parts I enjoyed, but I felt there was a lot of
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Gena DeBardelaben
eARC: Netgalley

My five star ratings are few and far between and I am so happy to have found one more to add to my collection. Mr. Jew and the Goy Boy is an absolute treasure that will tug at your heart strings one moment and have you grinning and laughing out loud at the next.

I fell in love with the colorful characters and hated to come to the end of their story...but then I had a wonderful surprise. There's more! Their story continues in the next installment of the Herring Cove Road series. I
...more
Amy
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a charming book about a young boy and an old man. Ancillary characters include the boy's mom, his father, and the old mans wife. At times, the book seems more old fashioned than it actually is and this may be due to speech patterns and the expository style of writing. Its a delicate novel belying the traumatic events framing every day life, including antisemitism, murder, death, and war and its after effects. It is a positive story in spite of the turns of life and captures the reader in ...more
Sherry Stacey
Feb 26, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Bad. Just bad. Didn't finish.
Becky Fann
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sweet and lovely story.
Kimberly
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Herring Cove Road Books consist of four books. This is the first I have read and I enjoyed it.

In this book the Rosens, Ruth and Av move to a small house on Herring Cove Road. They become friends with their neighbors through an unforeseen accident. Lisa and Dewey, her son, become friends with Ruth and this doesn't thrill Av. However soon he lowers his defenses and lets them in. When Lisa locks her drunken husband out of the house a series of events follow which affects all of them.
I loved t
...more
Kimberly
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Herring Cove Road Books consist of four books. This is the first I have read and I enjoyed it.

In this book the Rosens, Ruth and Av move to a small house on Herring Cove Road. They become friends with their neighbors through an unforeseen accident. Lisa and Dewey, her son, become friends with Ruth and this doesn't thrill Av. However soon he lowers his defenses and lets them in. When Lisa locks her drunken husband out of the house a series of events follow which affects all of them.

I loved th
...more
Sarah
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sweet little story. I didn’t realize it before buying but really this is YA reading. (Or should be.) A very touching story of overcoming PTSD and loss and grief through supportive relationships, and opening oneself to those relationships, no matter how unlikely the pairings.
Glenn
May 14, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first time I have done this. The title of this book appeared as an advertisement on my Kindle and it was such an odd title, I decided to investigate and was lured into reading it. It is a simple, lovely tale about a gentile boy and his Mother and their elderly Jewish next door neighbors. The woman and boy have never really been exposed to Jews before and are skeptical, but in the end, a wonderful, endearing bond forms. There is a plot that moves the relationship story forward. It is ...more
Shoshi
Feb 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rarely I am rating a book with 5 stars! But this deserves every one of it! I like everything in the novel. The easy and humorous style, the heart warming and touching story about an elderly retired couple and their friendship with a 8 year old boy and his family. I set there laughing, with tears in my eyes and was in the story right away! A must read book!
Lee Holt
Mar 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Story

Such a well written story that kept me anxious to learn more about Av and Rose. So wonderful to read of the friendship formed between youth and someone ' up in years' who has experiences to share. Would love to read more in the saga....must wait for a free offering again.
Michele Weiner
Relentlessly heartwarming. Very simply written in declarative sentences. Probably the first book I have read that is set in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I like the last sentence. And the good guys won, though a couple of people died. A neighbor recommended this book to me, and I will thank her. It's about an older Jewish couple and their neighbors. It deals with aging, loss, and anti-Semitism. Gently.
Alycia Canfield
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Denise the menace in a realistic book., which is what lead me to the book in the first place. I loved it I really did. This is the second in the series and I missed the first, I will go back and read the first but I was okayish with not reading it, however drawn and really want to read it now! The character is warm and its funny, though it is emotional. I love the mix!
Betty
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An older Jewish couple have moved into the neighborhood. She is outgoing while he is a loner introvert. The couple next door consists of a housewife, her husband who drinks way too much and has a bad temper, and their young son. The two women become friends and include the boy. What follows tells the tale.
Betsy Watts
The story was good but the narration was very descriptive which isn't my favorite style. There were also grammar/editing errors in my copy of the book. The characters were genuine, unique and fresh. There were many different situations that kept the book interesting. I will probably read another book in the series because I did like the characters.
wendy
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful story

This is a wonderful story of that shows you how a child can bring the innocence into the blind hatred of bigotry. The children do not know what it is too hate, they hear it and are taught it. But they do not know what it is. Our hearts all beat the same, we all bleed the same and we all cry the same..
Lncropper
Feb 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, which is about an elderly Jewish couple who become friends with a single mom and her son. There is a murder in the book, which is not solved until the next book in the series. i would recommend this one--except that I did not like the second one, and will not read the third one.
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Michael Kroft is a Nova Scotian Haligonian and writes fun, easy-to-read character-driven novels about the relationships between complex and mostly lovable characters that are as important to the story as the plot itself. Having completed his first four-book series, Herring Cove Road, where each novel in the unique series is not like the others, he's now working on his next series, The Lovelys' Fam ...more

Other books in the series

Herring Cove Road (4 books)
  • Before Herring Cove Road: Ruth Goldman and the Nincompoop
  • Still On Herring Cove Road: Hickory, Dickory, Death
  • Off Herring Cove Road: The Problem Being Blue

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