Julia Reed's Reviews > The Little Bride

The Little Bride by Anna Solomon
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's review
Nov 06, 2011

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Read in November, 2011

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 the best of her new life. Her husband, who tries to maintain his devout Judaism in spite of the harsh realities of prairie life hardly knows what to do with his new young bride. His own life has been one of disappointments, passed over for rabbi after a lifetime of study, rejected by his village as a betrayer of the faith for making a hard choice in his life, and dumped by his beautiful first wife who could not bear to live in the dirty, dark dug out and high tailed it back to the city at the first opportunity. His son, who he had hoped would also be a rabbi, is the only one who knows anything about farming and is trying to desperately keep everyone afloat. However, he can't help it when his eyes start to wander towards Minna, and she can't help that her eyes are wandering back. Add to this a youngest son who just wants to be as American as possible, and a long, harsh winter, and you have a very compelling piece of historical fiction.
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