A Woman of Uncer­tain Char­ac­ter: The Amorous and Rad­i­cal Adven­tures of My Moth­er Jen­nie (Who Always Want­ed to be a Respectable Jew­ish Mom) By Her Bas­tard Son

Clan­cy Sigal
  • Review
By – December 16, 2011

This mem­oir of a son and his tumul­tuous rela­tion­ship with his moth­er is hon­est, raw, amus­ing and a per­son­al his­tor­i­cal view of the peri­od between the wars in Amer­i­ca. Jen­nie, the fire­brand union orga­niz­er, is trans­plant­ed to the West Side of Chica­go, Lawn­dale, where the Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty once flourished. 

Clan­cy Sigal gives us a won­der­ful pic­ture of the social activist life of sec­u­lar Jews at a time in Amer­i­ca when anti-Semi­tism was at its height. This sto­ry is inter­wo­ven with his own per­son­al his­to­ry of life with par­ents who loved, fought, and tried to change the soci­ety around them, but were unable to hold togeth­er as a fam­i­ly. A great read from both a per­son­al and his­tor­i­cal perspective.

Bar­bara Andrews holds a Mas­ters in Jew­ish Stud­ies from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Chica­go, has been an adult Jew­ish edu­ca­tion instruc­tor, and works in the cor­po­rate world as a pro­fes­sion­al adult educator.

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