An Almost Perfect Moment

An Almost Perfect Moment In Brooklyn in the Age of Disco Valentine Kessler a sweet Jewish girl who bears a remarkable resemblance to the Virgin Mary of Lourdes has an unerring gift for shattering the dreams and hopes of tho

  • Title: An Almost Perfect Moment
  • Author: Binnie Kirshenbaum
  • ISBN: 9780060520878
  • Page: 444
  • Format: Paperback
  • In Brooklyn, in the Age of Disco, Valentine Kessler a sweet Jewish girl who bears a remarkable resemblance to the Virgin Mary of Lourdes has an unerring gift for shattering the dreams and hopes of those who love her Miriam, her long suffering mother, betrayed and anguished by the husband she adores, seeks solace in daily games of mah jongg with The Girls, a cross beIn Brooklyn, in the Age of Disco, Valentine Kessler a sweet Jewish girl who bears a remarkable resemblance to the Virgin Mary of Lourdes has an unerring gift for shattering the dreams and hopes of those who love her Miriam, her long suffering mother, betrayed and anguished by the husband she adores, seeks solace in daily games of mah jongg with The Girls, a cross between a Greek Chorus and Brooklyn s rendition of the Three Wise Men, who dispense advice, predictions, and care in the form of poppy seed cake and apple strudels When her greatest fear for Valentine is realized, Miriam takes comfort in the thought that it couldn t get any worse And then it does.Sagacious, sorrowful, and hilarious, An Almost Perfect Moment is a novel about mothers and daughters, star crossed lovers, doctrines of the divine, and a colorful Jewish community that once defined Brooklyn.This P.S edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and .

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      Posted by:Binnie Kirshenbaum
      Published :2019-06-19T20:10:38+00:00

    One Reply to “An Almost Perfect Moment”

    1. I am loving this book. I love the way it's written--very subtle but one of those where you go back and reread sentences because you suddenly realize the impact of them. Incredibly understated and so, so great. EDIT: Okay, so I'm editing this because I was so loving this book and then the end SUUUUUUUUUUUCKED. So there's that.

    2. Bizarre, with somewhat worrisome morals and confusing religious undertones. Valentine looks just like the Virgin Mary, but she is a young Jewish girl, and she has a crush on her awkward English teacher…. The one part that really tickled me was when Valentine discovers that Mary and Jesus were Jewish--before the advent of Christianity. What a marvelous revelation for her!

    3. I feel this book is somewhere between 3 and 4 stars, but because it was such a pleasure to read I gave it four.Although essentially sad and serious the book is written with such a beautiful and sharp sense of humour that you don't want it to end. Themes of loneliness, religion, love, death and teenage pregnancy are cleverly interwoven.However the book leaves quite a few loose ends, and some of the stories seem not relevant to each other, but on the other hand, maybe that's what makes it similar [...]

    4. This is a superbly-written book: it kept me reading all the way through, even though there is very thinly plotted. It's not the plot, but the writer's tragic sense of humor which kept me going. Each character is tragic--each slightly in their own way.

    5. A great suprise book. Sent to me by Jason's Aunt Adelaide (who has great literary taste:) One of those rare books that just sucks you in and you feel like you acctually met these people.

    6. I couldn't put this book down! It was so intriguing, yet simple, with snippets of the lives of ordinary people living day to day in Brooklyn. I don't know if the author was trying to give the reader a message with this story, but I do have to admit I was not happy with the ending. Overall, this story, which takes place in Brooklyn in the 1970's, is about a Jewish high school girl, Valentine, who looks like the Virgin Mary. The story is somewhat similar to a modern day take on what Mary's life co [...]

    7. When I heard the description of this book, I couldn't resist. The main character is an odd Jewish girl growing up in the Canarsie neighborhood of Brooklyn in the 1970s. I was an odd Jewish boy growing up in the same neighborhood in the 1970s and 80s. Kirshenbaum's depiction of the area at that time is well done; funny and nostalgia inducing and a bit kitchy. Very enjoyable, and the book is very readable. I couldn't put it down.But the story is quite strange. And the characters, while often lots [...]

    8. A lot of people are mocked in this book, but most especially Catholics. The omniscient pov makes it especially snarky. So beware. I often chuckled in the earlier parts but it began to feel mean-hearted so I winced more than laughed. Like always, it becomes about taste. If you're looking for something uplifting, probably not for you. If you enjoy making fun of miserable unfortunate people, and faith, this is your book. I gave it five stars because it's perfect for what it is. I didn't entirely en [...]

    9. Let's see, as a 40 year old Southern Baptist who knew a handful of Jewish and Catholic girls growing up, I enjoyed the banter in this book. It's a coming of age book at its core, with every character experiencing some level of self-discovery. I laughed out loud at The Girls, and cringed with the unfortunate recollection of inexperienced fumbling around with boys and trying to figure out friendships. I could've stayed in the living room eavesdropping during mah-jongg (?) games and done without th [...]

    10. This book grimly illustrated what kind of life I led before I met my husband. It reminded me that some people don't find that escape from unending misery. Some people lead rotten, boring, meaningless lives and sometimes do nothing to change it. I feel so lucky for the life I have and the people in it. I really enjoyed this book. But I'm a pessimist (mostly, though my outlook has become a lot more bright in recent years).

    11. One of those books which you're not exactly sure why you are reading it, but you just need to know what happens, in the end. Then, you get to the end and you kind of feel like it was a waste of book reading time, since there are so many other great books out there. I have a rule, if you cannot get into the book, by page 50, then it's not worth reading, but I broke it, for this book and am very disappointed. This is not something I would recommend to another person.

    12. If you read this, tell me what you think. I think I hated it, but it kept me reading right the way through. So what does that mean? It was supposed to make people think about religion, but not for me. It made me think about how people make choicesoices the characters made, choices I've made, choices friends and aquaintances have made. The end was oddly satisfyingd I can't tell you more than that or it will ruin it for you.

    13. This took a long time to read, almost a year. Always getting set aside for another book. 10 months was spent getting through the first half. It picked up after that. There never was any point to the book that I could detect, and the ending sucked. But other than that I loved the writing, the humor and loved the omniscient POV. I will read anything by Ms. Kirshenbaum from here on out, including this one again now that I have fallen in love with her writing. She has a new fan.

    14. A Jewish girl (Valentine) who looks like the Virgin Mary is in love with a teacher who fantasizes about her. Another teacher's in love with same teacher. Valentine goes to teacher's house, they have sex, but her hymen doesn't break. She gets pregnant, even though she's technically a virgin. She thinks she's Mary all over again but when she gives birth to a girl, she runs away to a nunnery.

    15. Wow. No book has ever made it to my Never Read list, but this one is waaaaaaaaay beyond Never Read. It's more like at Never Even Pick It Up And Bother.I skipped soooo many chapters after finding out that the girl gets pregnant and pulls a Mary. But, in the end she bolts and leaves her kid with her mother and "The Girls". Unbelievably ridiculas!

    16. A story about a young Jewish girl who looks like the Virgin Mary. This book contains interesting tales of heartache with carefully crafted twists and turns. Great Mother-Daughter struggle. As the tale progresses, you can almost guess what's coming, but think, "nawn't be" and then it happens. A Must Read. This author is the best!

    17. This is such a great book, one of my favorites in a long time. The author really makes you feel like you're in that place and time and the symbolism and imagery is wonderful. The characters are so sad and wonderfully developed.

    18. Very origianl, funny and thoroughly entertaining book. One of Kirshenbaum's best. A mother is a teensy worried about her adolescent daughter who not only looks like, but believes she is the Virgin Mary, never mind that the family is Jewish!

    19. This was a great read. Really interesting character development that explores the lonesome-ness that lurks beneath a person's unhappiness, and attempts to find happiness and solace. Enjoyed the setting in disco era Brooklyn as well.

    20. Unpleasant and dreary. Kirshenbaum tried to recreate the subtle magic realism that Jonathan Lethem captures so easily, but she falls incredibly flat. Instead of fantastical and unsettling, this book just comes across as a little weird. A lesson in how people ruin their own lives.

    21. The only silver lining was the characters were consistent. The writing often dragged on and on and overflowed with qualifiers. I didn't like any of the characters (and there were too many she tried to focus on) and there was no point to the story.

    22. I lived in Canarsie, graduated from Canarsie HS. I was walking through the neighborhood with the characters and I think most of the characters were spot on. I don't want to give anything away. It's worth a read.

    23. loved the jewish woman and the catholicsough some characters were depressing, the author makes you laugh at the culture. very fast read that leaves you wondering

    24. I LOVED this book! I can remember reading it when I was living in a tiny little apartment in Brooklyn and feeling like this was one of the best books of all time.

    25. I clearly remember reading this book. From the exterior, it is confusing and impossible to comprehend. But embedded within are true wisdom only some can see. Of course, exciting plot.

    26. Story about Valentine, a Jewish girl who associates herself with the Virgin Mary, gets pregnant without losing her virginity, and disappears. Struck by the sadness of those around her.

    27. I bought this book at Wal-Mart for like $3.50 and LOVED it. I don't even know why - I have nothing in common with the characters, but it was written in such a way that I could totally relate.

    28. Rather dark/heavy book with quite a few depressing moments that seemed to be present for their own sake. Interesting nonetheless.

    29. I would have given this book 4 stars if I rated it before I read the last chapter. I was disappointed with the ending.

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