Saturday, December 4, 2010
Let me start with a disclaimer. I know Donna Siegel. She and I are fellow members of the Houston chapter of The Transition Network.
But that's not why I chose to review her book. I'm reviewing it because I loved it!
It's the classic immigrant story. Her parents left their small Eastern European communities to come to America. One family ended up in Nebraska, the other in Iowa. Sounds like, as Ashkenazic Jews, they'd have been fish out of water in both those midwestern states. But they managed. And so did Donna. Structuring her story around the many houses she lived in, Donna shares her childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, from early marriage when women were expected to stay home and manage the house, to divorce and independence. Only in America could the daughter of immigrants end up in a high rise condominium in Houston and become an author.
She took tap dancing lessons, dreaming of becoming a Jewish Shirley Temple. She learned about the workings of her Iowa grandfather's fish market. She and her peripatetic family moved to Chicago where she joined a high school sorority and began writing skits, a talent that would carry over into the rest of her life.
She met the handsome prince that every young girl was supposed to meet in those years, married him, gave birth to three children, wrote more skits, learned to cook...but didn't live happily ever after. At least not with him--she has led a pretty darn happy and fulfilling life without the prince.
With insight and wit, Donna takes us along on her journey. This book will make you laugh. You'll cheer Donna on during every step of her life, and by the time you finish, you'll agree with me that, although she didn't become Shirley Temple, she's a star in her own right.
You can find On the Doorposts of All our Houses on Amazon.