Mar­ry Me By Midnight

  • Review
By – August 7, 2023

Isabelle Lira is the princess of the Lon­don Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty — beau­ti­ful, wealthy, and charm­ing. When her beloved father dies unex­pect­ed­ly, she is left to try to pick up the pieces her­self, which unfor­tu­nate­ly includes find­ing a suit­able hus­band. Her father’s busi­ness part­ners, the Berabs, see her and the upcom­ing mar­riage as a threat to their liveli­hood; they want her to mar­ry one of them to secure the busi­ness and their for­tune. While Isabelle would pre­fer to take over her father’s busi­ness and run it in his stead, no woman, and cer­tain­ly no Jew­ish woman, would be able to step into such a role. She thus has no choice but to find a hus­band, keep­ing her place, and her fathers’ busi­ness, in the community.

To aid her search, Isabelle decides to host a series of fes­ti­vals and events cen­tered around Jew­ish hol­i­days. She will meet the appro­pri­ate Jew­ish men, make an appro­pri­ate deci­sion, and hope­ful­ly meet some­one who has secrets and a back­ground she can exploit to achieve her own independence.

Enter Aaron Ellen­berg, a syn­a­gogue cus­to­di­an with­out any fam­i­ly or mon­ey — per­fect for Isabelle’s schemes. She employs Aaron as a spy and instructs him to learn as much as he can about her poten­tial suit­ors. But she doesn’t expect the deep attrac­tion she feels toward Aaron, nor the risks she’ll take to find what makes her tru­ly happy.

Mar­ry Me By Mid­night is a beau­ti­ful, and unapolo­get­i­cal­ly Jew­ish, nov­el. With mys­tery and intrigue, this love­ly tale not only offers read­ers a fas­ci­nat­ing glimpse into the nine­teenth-cen­tu­ry Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty in Lon­don, but it also depicts a romance that is pas­sion­ate and dar­ing. Feli­cia Grossman’s book is a must-read for any­one who loves romance and his­tor­i­cal fic­tion and longs for more Jew­ish char­ac­ters to be at the cen­ter of the story.

Jes­si­ca Sender is an aca­d­e­m­ic librar­i­an at Michi­gan State Uni­ver­si­ty. She has worked in pub­lic and aca­d­e­m­ic libraries, and in her free time enjoys run­ning, bik­ing, real­i­ty TV, and explor­ing Michigan. 

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