Oy, it’s a shanda this gem of chick lit was saddled with such a broch of a title.
Sure, the novel focuses on seven (coincidentally the number of times a Jewish bride circles her groom during their wedding ceremony) Jewish women who are either unhappily married, hiding their double life or looking for love in all the wrong Bloomingdale’s. Not a single stereotype about spoiled, selfobsessed, East Coast Jewish families escaped Rose’s biting wit in this well-written work. As a Jewish female who dislikes the stereotypical ‘J.A.P,’ I thought I was in for hours of torture tantamount to a shopping spree at Bergdorf’s buying clothes at full price, when I was assigned this book to review.
I was pleasantly surprised to find the magical recipe of this chronicle, humorously seasoned by a generous helping of meshugas endured by or rather, caused by the book’s main JAPs, tempered by sweetly sardonic Ali Cohen, the common thread of the novel.
When seven former bunkmates from Willow Lake Camp reunite for their camp’s 100th anniversary, including award-winning filmmaker Ali, conveniently hired by the camp’s directors to create a documentary of the celebration, the real stories of the women’s lives, past and present, are revealed.
The J.A.P. Chronicles aptly captures the notion that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. I’m certainly glad I didn’t judge this one by its title. It’s a humorous, breezy read that might not resolve any world crises, but will most certainly take your mind off them for a while.
Tami Kamin-Meyer is a licensed attorney who would rather write than fight. Her byline has appeared in a variety of publications, including Better Homes and Gardens, The Rotarian, Ohio Super Lawyers, Ohio Lawyers Weekly, Ohio Magazine, Cleveland Jewish News, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, and www.chabad.edu. She is also an award-winning Hebrew school educator.