Jena Henry's Reviews > Split-Level

Split-Level by Sande Boritz Berger
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it was amazing
Read 2 times

What makes a book “wow, what an amazing story! You have to read this!” For me, it can be an unforgettable character, a page-turning thriller, or a creative non-fiction that teaches me something new. Then there are those special books that delight me because of the writing- the fresh way the author chooses each word, unexpected, new and keenly correct. Words that open me up to both old memories and new feelings and thoughts. This is such a book- a story where word gems create a treasure chest of riches for the reader.

Alex, short for Alexandra, tells us her story in the first person. The way she thinks and shares her life is similar to her artwork- filled with carefully selected details that both charm and alarm us. The 1970’s, a time of swift cultural changes, is when we meet Alex in suburban New Jersey as she deals with the day-to-day of her married-with-two-kids life. Will an unexpected phone call disrupt everything?

The title of this book got me thinking. A split-level reminds me of the Brady Bunch house- happy kids, happy wife, happy life. This doesn’t seem to describe the real life of Alex. As Alex shares her past and copes with her runaway present, I could see that there were many ways that Alex was “split”. She is a daughter, wife, mother, friend, Jewish woman. She is split by her roles and she is split by her feelings and her desires. Will she split from her marriage? Will she put herself back together?

I don’t mean to make this story sound too heavy. As I read it, I was laughing, entertained and captivated. Alex’s words and observations are so creative and unexpected. One humorous scene is when Alex recalls meeting her husband’s parents for the first time. Her husband works in the family women’s foundations business. As Alex is introduced, her husband and father immediately remark on her bra cup size. That’s what they do! So funny! Or is it?

Yes, there are many layers to this story and much to ponder.This book is good on so many levels Highly recommend.

I received a digital review copy, thanks to NetGalley and She Writes Press. This is my honest review.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading (Paperback Edition)
Finished Reading
May 4, 2019 – Shelved
May 6, 2019 – Shelved (Paperback Edition)

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