You Got­ta Have Balls

  • Review
By – December 19, 2011

Ruth Roth­wax, the hero­ine of You Got­ta Have Balls, is a smart, neu­rot­ic, obses­sive child of Holo­caust sur­vivors. She is a wife and the moth­er of three grown chil­dren as well as the suc­cess­ful pro­pri­etress of a let­ter writ­ing and greet­ing card busi­ness. She also sup­ports her new­ly immi­grant, 87 year old wid­owed father, Edek, whom she is deter­mined to keep active. Ruth lives well in low­er Man­hat­tan. When she trav­els to Poland with her father, they meet the flam­boy­ant Zofia and her shy side­kick, Walen­ty­na. Zofia shows inter­est in Edek and from that point on the sto­ry takes off. I will only add that balls refers to meat­balls and that the title reflects the humor in the novel. 

Although the dia­logue is some­times repet­i­tive, Edek’s East­ern Euro­pean accent is cap­tured well by Brett. Ruth’s rela­tion­ships with her fam­i­ly and friends are described real­is­ti­cal­ly and comically. 

This is a quick, fun read and I can eas­i­ly imag­ine this book turned into an enter­tain­ing movie with the New York City streets and its col­or­ful char­ac­ters so charm­ing­ly portrayed. 

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.

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