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Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English: A Novel

Average Rating 4
( 24 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(11)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Can you change your life by becoming someone else?

When hasn't someone ever imagined a life better than the one they are currently living? That's just what Jack Rosenblum is doing not imagining. At the onset of World War II, Jack, his wife Sadie and their daughter, Elizabeth flee Berlin, Germany and head for London.

...
When hasn't someone ever imagined a life better than the one they are currently living? That's just what Jack Rosenblum is doing not imagining. At the onset of World War II, Jack, his wife Sadie and their daughter, Elizabeth flee Berlin, Germany and head for London.

Along their journey, Jack receives a pamphlet instructing him on how to fit in as an immigrant now that they are living in England which Jack vows to spend his life perfecting. This basically involves being as English as possible, speaking English only, wearing and adhering to all English manners and customs.

Sadie isn't at all pleased to leave her former life behind and believes that trying to be something they're not is not what they should be doing and refuses to assimilate into a new lifestyle. She would rather head home to Israel and be with people like they are and not have to pretend to be someone else.

Jack is obsessed with becoming a proper English gentleman, from buying what he determines is just the right suit to be seen in, refraining from speaking Jewish and adhering to his Jewish customs. He begins his transformation in buying enough carpet in various colors and reselling back to new immigrants coming into London to make life more suitable. Turns out, Jack is on to something and he begins to see the possibilities of what he dreams is possible coming true. The only elusive thing missing in his life is becoming a member of a country club and playing golf. Will Jack find an elite club that will allow a Jewish man to become a member or will he forgo his dream of finally fitting in?

In the book, Mr. Rosenblum Dreams In English by Natasha Solomon, we find ourselves immersed in the lives of an immigrant family of the Rosenblums as they try and find a way to fit it when it seems that being Jewish hinders everything and place they try to live. It's about finding yourself along the way, and wondering what the consequences are of being something you aren't. I absolutely loved this story and easily rate it a perfect 5 out of 5 stars. I think the characters are well developed and the story line is so well written you feel as if you are part of the Rosenblum family.

This book is available in paperback, hardcover, CD and eBook formats.

posted by Heart2Heart on November 5, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

A Charming Tale

I absolutely loved this book! You will find yourself pulling for Mr. Rose-In-Bloom and his quest to build the finest golf course in the West of England. The characters are engaging, and you will find yourself smiling at the end of this charming story.

posted by Mel-Bclt on February 1, 2013

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  • Posted November 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Can you change your life by becoming someone else?

    When hasn't someone ever imagined a life better than the one they are currently living? That's just what Jack Rosenblum is doing not imagining. At the onset of World War II, Jack, his wife Sadie and their daughter, Elizabeth flee Berlin, Germany and head for London.

    Along their journey, Jack receives a pamphlet instructing him on how to fit in as an immigrant now that they are living in England which Jack vows to spend his life perfecting. This basically involves being as English as possible, speaking English only, wearing and adhering to all English manners and customs.

    Sadie isn't at all pleased to leave her former life behind and believes that trying to be something they're not is not what they should be doing and refuses to assimilate into a new lifestyle. She would rather head home to Israel and be with people like they are and not have to pretend to be someone else.

    Jack is obsessed with becoming a proper English gentleman, from buying what he determines is just the right suit to be seen in, refraining from speaking Jewish and adhering to his Jewish customs. He begins his transformation in buying enough carpet in various colors and reselling back to new immigrants coming into London to make life more suitable. Turns out, Jack is on to something and he begins to see the possibilities of what he dreams is possible coming true. The only elusive thing missing in his life is becoming a member of a country club and playing golf. Will Jack find an elite club that will allow a Jewish man to become a member or will he forgo his dream of finally fitting in?

    In the book, Mr. Rosenblum Dreams In English by Natasha Solomon, we find ourselves immersed in the lives of an immigrant family of the Rosenblums as they try and find a way to fit it when it seems that being Jewish hinders everything and place they try to live. It's about finding yourself along the way, and wondering what the consequences are of being something you aren't. I absolutely loved this story and easily rate it a perfect 5 out of 5 stars. I think the characters are well developed and the story line is so well written you feel as if you are part of the Rosenblum family.

    This book is available in paperback, hardcover, CD and eBook formats.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 1, 2013

    A Charming Tale

    I absolutely loved this book! You will find yourself pulling for Mr. Rose-In-Bloom and his quest to build the finest golf course in the West of England. The characters are engaging, and you will find yourself smiling at the end of this charming story.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 11, 2012

    English rural life after wwII

    wonderful, with some light-hearted fairy tale wisdom thrown in, too.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 5, 2011

    Definitely Recommend

    Thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Loved the characters and was sorry to have the story end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Whimsical, fun, and thoroughly captivating! A novel for all ages

    [More info about this book at powells.com (new window)]

    In 1937, with Germany's antisemitism is on the rise, the Rosenblum decide to relocate to England. Unable to bring their extended family, Jack, Sadie and their young daughter arrive in Harwich and disembark from a boat full of refugees. A member of the German Jewish Aid Committee hands Jack a pamphlet entitled "While you are in England: Helpful Information and Friendly Guidance for every Refugee."

    Jack takes this advice to heart and pores over the list of prescribed behavior. He switches to speaking only English, buys British, and aspires for and acquires what he believes to be the trappings of a true English gentleman. The one thing that remains is membership to the right golf club.

    Jack tries -- he applies to all the clubs in his vicinity, reaches out to members, offers to by his way in. In the end, when it becomes clear that the regular golf clubs won't admit him. And since Jack refuses to join a Jewish golf club, Jack Rosenblum makes a life changing decision. He decides to build his own golf club -- to make the best golf club in South West England. He sells their house and uproots his wife to Dorset.

    Jack Rosenblum doesn't realize how some of his old habits remain. He retains the European habit of tips lavishly (surely, they appreciate it -- for their good service) and is carefully polite. He doesn't see the contempt that his attempts inspire in the regular English around him. But in Dorset, as he approaches this seemingly impossible task of creating a golf course, his determination, hard work, kindness and good bring him the acceptance that he deserves.


    Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English: A Novel is whimsical, beautifully written, funny and poignant at turns. Natasha Solomon captures the heartache of the diaspora and the yearning for a true home with accuracy, sensitivity and humor. Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English: A Novel is a book that will resonate with readers of all ages -- it's a book to share with good friends and to revisit over time.


    ISBN-10: 0316077585 - Hardcover
    Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books (June 21, 2010), 368 pages.
    Review copy provided by the publisher.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Such a delightful story that needs to be read and believed

    Jack Rosenblum flees to England from war ravaged Germany taking his wife and daughter with him all the while dreaming of his new life. He knows England is where they can begin again living life without Jewish persecution so off they went. They just need to follow the assimilation into proper English life rule pamphlet they have been given and all will be fine - learn to blend or at least be ignored. His wife, Sadie is less sure but will follow her husband anywhere he thinks best for their family.

    Jack holds on to the pamphlet reading it constantly and adding items that he picks up to make sure no one thinks they are not part of English life. He earns an income and then falls into a stroke of good luck and finds himself owning a carpet factory that within ten years is one of the largest in London. Making more than enough money to upgrade their life again Jack starts another phase of following his dreams to be the perfect English gentlemen and in order to accomplish this he needs to play golf.

    He buys a set of clubs which leads to a larger purchase of a cottage with enough land to design and build his own golf course where everyone can join regardless of their ethnicity. Again Sadie follows but this dream she is having trouble swallowing and fears the risk is too great for them to handle. Jack says no it will be fine and starts the process of adding items to the list of proper English behavior and construction of his golf course.

    The town is less than welcoming but slowly and surely he makes friends and gets some local assistance in the construction. Jack thinks he needs the greatest golfer of his time, Bobby Jones to come and play the inaugural round but letters go unanswered while at the same time jealousy and prejudices start to rear their ugly heads. Jack has tried to assimilate and tried to stay under the radar but there are those that will never accept and never allow that everyone has a right to their dream. Jack keeps chasing his and in the end all his hard work and hope of a better life pale in comparison to knowing he made friends and his family will always be by his side.

    This book was a wonderful read and turned into marvelous read when I discovered it was a true story written by a granddaughter about her grandfather. The heart break and triumph of Jack's life comes through so clearly that you ache for things to work out for him and his family and a good storyteller has a gift with the ability to convey these emotions. Ms. Solomons has done an excellent job of showing up what one family's dreams can lead to.

    Mary Gramlich is The Reading Reviewer at www.marygramlich.com

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 11, 2014

    This is simply a wonderful story, beautifully told.  The main ch

    This is simply a wonderful story, beautifully told.  The main character's determination to achieve his goal no matter the obstacle will make you stand up and cheer.  Ms. Solomon's gift for descriptive narrative makes the turn of each page a delight.  This is a book you will never want to see end, but  when it does, be sure to read the author's notes at the end of the story.  You will be even more amazed!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2014

    A

    In a way I relate this to The Life of Pi as far as the speed of "telling." It played out mainly in few locations and in extended detail. I will say it was thoughtprovokiing even after I was finished reading it. It was interesting as it engaged my own thinking, but all said it was just OK.

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  • Posted July 27, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    What a perfectly charming and engaging story. By half way throug

    What a perfectly charming and engaging story. By half way through, I had to buy a copy for my reading buddy, as I knew she would find it to be enchanting as well. I look forward to reading more works by Natasha.

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  • Posted December 30, 2012

    Recommended

    Very good story about trying to belong, and survive, in an adopted land. Mr Rosenblum's effort to be part of the local society showed how important it is for an immigrant to adapt himself out of respect for the country he chose as his final destination.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2012

    Fabulous!

    This is an outstanding example of true British homor andstory telling . I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to enjoy a great story!

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