Review: The Little Bride – Anna Solomon

Genre: Historical fiction
Pages: 320
Published: September 6, 2011
Publisher: Riverhead
Source: for review

When 16-year-old Minna Losk journeys from Odessa to America as a mail-order bride, she dreams of a young, wealthy husband, a handsome townhouse, and freedom from physical labor and pogroms. But her husband Max turns out to be twice her age, rigidly Orthodox, and living in a one-room sod hut in South Dakota with his two teenage sons. The country is desolate, the work treacherous. Most troubling, Minna finds herself increasingly attracted to her older stepson. As a brutal winter closes in, the family’s limits are tested, and Minna, drawing on strengths she barely knows she has, is forced to confront her despair, as well as her desire.

My thoughts:

I think the beauty with this book was this quietness over it, this stillness and contemplation that what happens happens. Which also makes this one hard book to rate, because even if I liked the story and so on I would rate it one way. But then I look at the writing and the feeling and it has to have a better rating. Because it is just good. 
The story is about Minna who is a servant in Odessa, bad times being a Jew there, or anywhere for that matter. So she signs with an agency and becomes a mail order bride. Poor Minna has hopes for a better life and she is not prepared for the harsh life of a farmer’s wife. She could have managed but the thing is that her new husband is no farmer. He knows nothing at all and he is very strict orthodox and the farm suffers because of it. Well the hut, the mule, the cow and a little field that makes up the farm. But there is freedom there, freedom to be themselves. And this in a land where there is another people worse off than they are. The story is good, and I liked Minna and her silent suffering. Her husband is a good man, just too good and clueless. Her stepsons are nice too, but there we get the little bit of drama, attraction. Not to mention a winter of suffering as they have no food and it’s cold. 
The only thing I did not like was the end, it was ok, but that was just it. We got a little insight in what happens in her life. But I was not happy. Still, why should I be, she seemed happy and that is all that matters. 
It is a book I recommend, because in the end I have not read a book like this. Yes sure I have read books about pioneers, but not about Jewish pioneers, and rules brings another dimension to this new life. Neither did I know about the am olam movement. And I do like a book that manages to teach me something too. 

In the end, it is the author’s voice that I like, and it is a great debut.
Not for me, the inner pic is really nice though


38 thoughts on “Review: The Little Bride – Anna Solomon

  1. Jenny says:

    Hm. Now you have me all curious as to why you weren't happy with the ending even though the character was! I hadn't heard of this one before, thanks for the review!

  2. Lynette says:

    LOL. I read your review of this book and immediately thought of my husband's grandparents. His grandmother's first husband was the father (he was much older) of her second. When hubby's grandfather came home from the service, they met, fell in love, and got married. LOL.

  3. Missie says:

    I know that feeling you described where the ending works for the character but not necessarily for the reader. Loved the opening of this review. Quiet contemplation reads are quite appealing.

  4. Blodeuedd says:

    JennyOh you know me, I want it all ๐Ÿ™‚ But I guess it was a fitting end…can't say more lolLynetteIt must be late, well it is late, and I am tired but I can't make that family tree to work, lolAnnaOh there were details. We knew a lot, it is just that I wanted certain thingsMissieIt was a very lovely book. Sometimes I need a book like this :)And yes the ending she wants is not always the one I wantCaroleThat is always a good reason to readCarrieWhat I also liked is that in a way there is no love triangle. People just co-existChrisShe has only written short stories before but yes I want to ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Blodeuedd says:

    Mrs QMaybe that is why this one was good, there were details, but not too many since what was there to say out there in the middle of nowhereKristiOh no! It was not boring, I am just saying that things happened, but there was no eeeeeeek cold! Eeeeek we are dying!!!!!!! it was more, yes it is cold, and we will try our best to beat itI will not say more….lolBermudaConsidering they are still around yes, I always wonder why people do itAnaI am sure you would like the end *whistles*VVThat which is underneath is so pretty :DStephYou know I can't spoil that for you…not a word out of meElysiumIt's just bery bland, bleh. I wish they had the pic inside as the cover

  6. Melissa (Books and Things) says:

    I also like it when a piece of fiction teaches me something. I also want to know why you weren't happy with the ending! #Flash: Poor Banshee!! Give her a sweetie! She needs one. ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh and I also love the second short. No cookies from me! Love that you did 2!!

  7. Jill says:

    Interesting premise. I often wonder how pioneers managed to make the worse and then when you bring in mail-order brides you have two strangers trying to make a go of a very hard life.

  8. Blodeuedd says:

    JennyIt sure was, and I do think you would enjoy this book just like I did.MelissaI can't say (well if you want to then email me ๐Ÿ˜‰ *whistles*Lol, yes I do think the she needs a sweetie too. I will see what the next flash brings meAmusedI really like that too, just like a book should be.JillI would not have made it as a pioneer, or as a mailorder bride for that matter. But it sure brings something extra to this taleDanaI must have missed the memo too, or I should visit your blogs :DI do hope you look it up

  9. Blodeuedd says:

    JannaIt's subtle, it looks like fiction, not in a bad way, but just that the cover does not need to shineNaidaI am all for learning in a fun way and I enjoyed this tale.LindaI hope you do!Anatruth be told I never know with you, but…this time yes perhaps you would like how it ended ;)CherryShe is good already ๐Ÿ™‚ I just want superhappy endings sometimes ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. Simcha says:

    I've also never read a book about Jewish pioneers and the subject does sound like one I would enjoy, but I'd probably prefer reading a non-fictional account about it than a romance novel, particularly one that doesn't sound like it ends too happily.

  11. Blodeuedd says:

    Aurian20 years ago? Then I am late to recommened this one ;)AlexisYou should check it out, it was different, and I always liked the life as a pioneer. So harshSimchaIf you fear romance then I can tell you that there is no romance at all here. She marries a man she does not know. She has this despise/interest in her stepson, but they enver think or act on it cos it is wrong. So there is no forbidden romance going on. And when something does happen it is just that, it happens.MariThat is what it was, and it makes it one intriguing book

  12. says:

    Fabulous review! I've never heard of this book before and the whole concept of the book just sounds interesting. A mail order bride…who is 16 marrying a 30+ year old who has two sons about his brides age…how, unique. I'm going to check this out out later!

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