Fate and Ms. Fortune

Sar­alee Rosenberg
  • Review
By – December 19, 2011

Here we have a Jew­ish chick lit book with wit­ty dia­logue and some snap­py insight. Robyn Fortune’s six­ty-some­thing moth­er leaves her father to pur­sue her dream before it’s too late” at the same time that Robyn is recov­er­ing from a divorce. Robyn is a make-up artist for a morn­ing TV news show and an aspir­ing stand-up com­ic. Her per­for­mance at a fam­i­ly bar mitz­vah leads to an even­tu­al romance. The read­er can, and does, relate to Robyn because of her faults and we love her for them.

Have you ever noticed that con­fi­dence is that feel­ing you have right before you under­stand the prob­lem?” This line occurs mid-way through the nov­el. We see Robyn enter­tain prob­lem after prob­lem and then we wit­ness her Aha! moment. The nov­el focus­es on months in what appears to be a typ­i­cal dys­func­tion­al Jew­ish fam­i­ly. In the end we learn the truth about Robyn’s par­ents and her broth­ers and come to an under­stand­ing about the roles fam­i­ly, neigh­bors, com­mu­ni­ty, and espe­cial­ly secre­cy play in our lives. Robyn real­izes that per­haps what you don’t get was nev­er meant to be. The author, Sar­alee Rosen­berg, has a quick humor that is some­times sar­cas­tic and always on target.

Erin Can­tor is an inte­ri­or design­er, teacher of read­ing and math to third-graders, and a returned Peace Corps volunteer.

Discussion Questions