Cinderella Borscht Belt

Cinderella Borscht Belt

by Jeannette Ronson




Eighteen-year-old Samantha dreams of more than waiting on tables, but with an alcoholic father and no money, her prospects are dim. Landing a clerical job at a Jewish resort in the Catskills in 1976 seems like a step in the right direction, but soon she bungles her way through the foreign world of kosher meals and no meat with dairy. In her free time, Samantha fends off amorous rabbis and lusty pool boys. Rising to protect her, Larry the maintenance man, a Vietnam War veteran with an affinity for whiskey, shows up when he's needed most. Mrs. Rosenblatt, a vociferous and opinionated Manhattanite who dominates the resort pool, appoints herself as Samantha's Jewish fairy godmother in charge of her future. Josh, a Jewish college student from the Bronx who works the summer as a pool boy, tries to befriend Samantha.

Based on actual events at Grossinger's Resort during the 1970s, Cinderella Borscht Belt is about a young woman determined to change her fate and her cultural and class struggles at this now non-existent orthodox Jewish mountain mecca. Opposed to the film Dirty Dancing, the heroine, Samantha, is a staff member of the resort who wants to break from her working-class confinement and dreams of attending college. Sprinkled throughout the story are historic details of the Borscht Belt, such as Jewish customs and entertainers, as well as a description of a magical place where millions of New Yorkers visited every summer.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781515050339
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 07/14/2015
Pages: 88
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.18(d)

About the Author

Jeannette Ronson's nonfiction essays have been published in Star 82, Foliate Oak, Red Savina Review, Work, and Fresh Ink literary magazines. Her essay "I Am Hawaii Five-O" was nominated for the 2013 Best of the Net anthology. She holds a MFA in Creative and Professional Writing from Western Connecticut State University and a MA in American Studies from Fairfield University. Jeannette currently serves as an Associate Editor of Poor Yorick: A Journal of Rediscovered Objects.

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Cinderella Borscht Belt 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cinderella Borscht Belt was a fun read! The main character has tough breaks from childhood but perseveres thru family issues & all kinds of interesting work relationships. Samantha reaches new heights by the end of the book and I look forward to reading the sequel!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jeannette Ronson's first novel transports the reader beyond the "Dirty Dancing" perspective to the often-overlooked Proletariat of the golden age of New York's fabled Jewish Alps. She brings us into the world of bellhops, receptionists, handymen and others who worked at the summer retreats that once dotted the Catskills. Her deft skill of description makes one feel as though he or she is at the pool, on the golf course, in the lobby or comedy club at Grossinger’s, Kutsher’s, the Concord, the Nevele or any of the legendary resorts of that era. The book’s shiksa heroine, Samantha, seems to attract suitors like a limitless buffet, but her rough childhood and subsequent street smarts help her succeed. Ms. Ronson says in an online video interview that about half the activity in the book really happened.   I would love to hear more about her Borscht Belt tales. I hope a sequel comes out some day.