Around the Year in 52 Books discussion

The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street
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The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street, by Sarah Jane Gilman

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Aine | 173 comments #47 a book with food or drink in the title
The indomitable spirit of a tiny Russian immigrant, the fighting talk of her mother, the pragmatism of her father, the entrepreneurial spirit of her adoptive family... The Ice Cream Queen is made in the New World of Manhattan where anything and everything is possible...


message 2: by Laura, Celestial Sphere Mod (last edited Mar 06, 2016 05:47PM) (new)

Laura | 3823 comments Mod
I haven't been too excited about my choice for week 47. You'll have to let me know what you think of this one and maybe I'll switch out my entries :)


Stacey D.  | 1709 comments Aine wrote: "#47 a book with food or drink in the title
The indomitable spirit of a tiny Russian immigrant, the fighting talk of her mother, the pragmatism of her father, the entrepreneurial spirit of her adopt..."


I've got this one on my list for that week, too, Aine. Sounds like a fun read!


Aine | 173 comments Hi Laura & Stacey, yes I think it's well worth a read. Lillian is a true Manhattan diva & the book tells how she got to that point. If ye do read it, I'd be interested to hear what ye think of it...


Stacey D.  | 1709 comments I had mixed feelings about this book read for Week 47: a book with food or drink in the title, mainly because it was just too long, going on and on with neverending flashbacks.

In several reviews I came across, people really took a mean dislike to Lillian/Malka, the Ice Cream Queen. Yes, she came across as abrasive and abusive. I get that. But, hey - she went through hell as a poor immigrant child and had to fight tooth and nail to succeed - as both a woman and a cripple - in a time when political correctness didn't exist. What could one expect? Until she met her dear Bert, she was bereft of love. In the end, Lillian proved to be the quintessential female antiheroine: elderly, alcoholic, handicapped, a real wisenheimer and under indictment. She was colorful, to say the least.

This book turns the early immigrant experience on its ear, as well as much of the world events between 1907 - 1983. I loved learning about the ice cream industry (a big shout out to Tom Carvel!) and how the beloved cone came into existence. Lillian's schtick was good for a while, but in the end got a little stale. Still, I got a kick out of reading this sweet treat of a novel.


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