Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street: A Novel by Susan Jane Gilmore

I honestly thought that I would read a dozen books in this two month "retirement" period. However, the beautiful Florida weather, visits to the beach, visits from family, and outdoor activities continually distracted me. However, I just finished reading The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street  and I found it to be delightful.

I loved learning about Malka as a little girl, and all the struggles she faced as a new American immigrant. As the book continued I was impressed with her ingenuity and entrepreneurship. In the end I was touched by her grief and saddened by her alcoholism. Although I knew that the details in the story were fiction, I enjoyed the historical events that were interwoven. I must admit to being an ice cream lover - I came by it honestly - and learning about the ice cream industry, particularly during World War II was extremely interesting to me. I found myself googling many of the events and people, just to see which ones were real and which were fiction.

Readers were also given some insight into the polio epidemic and I found that there was very little I knew about the vaccinations as a whole. I found this to be fascinating, and again went online to do some additional research just to learn more.

I checked this book out of my public library digitally, and I have to admit I barely finished before its due date. Although I enjoyed it I felt like it was too long, and at times I wanted to skim ahead. Lillian (Malka) tells her tale in a voice that I found to be a bit whiny, and very often I found myself skipping a paragraph or two because I just didn't want to hear more about how much she thought people rejected her. However, this didn't take away from the fact that I really enjoyed the story as a whole and I highly recommend it to anyone. My tip: check out a dish of every flavor of ice cream as you read!

Now, I must get back to reading! I have only 3 weeks - and about 10 books to go!

1 comment:

  1. Looks like this book is totally in my taste. I'll read it as soon as possible and I hope I'll really like it.