Steal­ing a Sum­mer’s Afternoon

  • Review
By – May 22, 2014

Elliot Ser­lin is a reg­u­lar guy with a teenage son and a mis­er­able mom in assist­ed liv­ing. Sud­den­ly Elliot finds out that he’s lost his son’s col­lege fund in a Ponzi scheme, which he has hid­den from his wife Mar­cy, while also over­hear­ing his hate­ful boss say he’s sell­ing the com­pa­ny and as a result he will lose his job. Mar­cy com­plains that Elliot is unambi­tious, but oth­er­wise there is still love between them. Marcy’s best friend has been flirt­ing with Elliot, and Elliot’s best friend and train­er, his Domini­can her­mano’ Manuel, with seri­ous prob­lems of his own, advis­es him to stay away from her. When Elliot hap­pens upon a hid­den stash of orig­i­nal paint­ings sought after by a British Lord, he comes up with a get rich quick” scheme which he hopes will solve all his prob­lems. Enact­ing the art­work theft involves get­ting pro­fes­sion­al” help and cut­ting in Manuel’s under­world friends, secret meet­ings with Marcy’s best friend, and hug­ging and din­ing with Elliot’s mother’s home’s director. 

This book evokes the feel­ing of a mod­ern day screw­ball com­e­dy with the added charm of Domini­can Span­ish slang and Elliot’s ratio­nalizing and guilt-rid­den inter­nal mono­logues. Elliot’s unex­pect­ed escapades make him feel young again. Although this sto­ry was an easy sum­mer read, I pre­ferred Sidransky’s seri­ous fic­tion­al title, For­giv­ing Max­i­mo Roth­man.

Relat­ed content:

Miri­am Brad­man Abra­hams is a Cuban-born, Brook­lyn-raised, Long Island-resid­ing mom. She is Hadas­sah Nas­sau’s One Region One Book chair­la­dy, a free­lance essay­ist, and a cer­ti­fied yoga instruc­tor who has loved review­ing books for the JBC for the past ten years.

Discussion Questions